Chef cooks up dream job
IT was always meant to be the trip of dreams.But teenager James Bevan's once in a lifetime holiday to Dubai turned out to be even more incredible than expected.
By Danielle Nuttall
IT was always meant to be the trip of dreams.
But teenager James Bevan's once in a lifetime holiday to Dubai turned out to be even more incredible than expected.
The 19-year-old chef, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer, was treated to an all expenses paid trip to five-star deluxe hotel the Burj Al Arab, in Dubai, to work for a day in the famous kitchens.
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The holiday was organised and paid for by the Dream Come True Charity, which turns the dreams of youngsters with life-threatening illnesses into reality.
But top chefs employed at what is one of the world's most luxurious hotels were so impressed with James' culinary skills - they offered him a job there.
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And the teenager, from Nacton Road, in Ipswich, could not be happier.
James is still having treatment at the moment but has already secured a place working with celebrity chef Brian Turner when he is better.
The Burj Al Arab, famously built in the shape of an Arabian sail, has promised to keep the opportunity open for him so that he can gain two years experience working in London first.
James, who took his girlfriend Leanne Atkins with him on his trip, said: “It was the best thing ever.
“First of all I tasted a lot of things on the menu and they let me prepare, cook and serve it as well.
“One of them gave me a talk. I asked him how I was doing and he said 'You're doing well' and he said there could be a position for me.
“They offered me a job there and a two bedroom house as living accommodation. I'm going to take it a couple of years after some experience in London. It's going to be amazing. I can't believe it.
“I definitely want to work there. They're all tops chefs - the best in the world. I'm keeping in contact via email.”
James was first diagnosed with cancer in November 2004 only weeks after top chef Turner offered him the prospect of a job at his restaurant in Grosvenor Square, London.
He has since undergone an intensive course of chemotherapy to battle against seven tumours in his right foot, three in his shin, one in his left knee and another in his lung.
James said he had received a letter from the Dream Come True Charity because he is on the register of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
“After about three months, I decided I wanted to go to Dubai and have a day in the kitchens,” he said.
“They sent us over there for about four nights and the hotel allowed us to stay a complimentary night. On the fifth day, I had a day in their kitchens.
“The hotel room was two storeys. Downstairs was an office and we had a Jacuzzi in the bathroom.
“It was amazing. One day we went up to the helipad at the top of the hotel. It was quite scary.
“We had a private butler 24/7. The hotel gave us a complimentary meal on the last night and champagne.”
James said his present treatment is going well and he is looking forward to his future career.
“I'm waiting for treatment to finish and I will be on my way,” he said.