Bath celebrity chef Michael Caines warns of second loss to skilful Italians
England's footballers and long-suffering fans know all about continental mastery from the penalty spot.
But it is their skills with a pot and pan that has Bath's most feted chef worried about a diet of Euro misery for the region's young cooks.
Celebrity chef Michael Caines, who as well as holding two Michelin stars for the exclusive Gidleigh Park Hotel on Dartmoor is executive chef at the Bath Priory, said an influx of skilled workers from countries with weaker economies such as Spain and Italy means there is more pressure than ever on young British job seekers.
"We have to equip young people with the right CVs so they can get those jobs, and not lose out to other workers from outside the UK," he said.
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The chef, who also used to run a restaurant at the Marriott hotel on Bristol's College Green, as well as his ongoing role with the ABode chain of hotels across the country, has called on others to follow the example of the academy he has set up at Exeter College, which will celebrate its first anniversary this week.
In the past, Mr Caines said catering had failed to attract bright, ambitious young people. "There has been an attitude of 'I can't do anything else so I'll go into catering', and in turn the industry has been very critical that colleges don't provide kids with the right skills to come into the industry and understand what it's about.
"Meanwhile, you have these young people coming in from Europe who are incredibly skilled and have a fantastic attitude and work ethic.
"The future isn't sustainable that young kids from the UK are missing out on these jobs, and it isn't sustainable that our young kids don't look on catering as a profession in the same way as they do in places like France, when in fact it's our third largest employer in the UK."
The academy, run in partnership with City & Guilds, saw 14 students aged between 16 and 19 pass a tough selection process before starting their two-year course last June.
As well as college tuition, students have undertaken placements in respected establishments such as Combe House and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Padstow.
Masterchef winner Mat Follas, of The Wild Garlic in Beaminster, Dorset, was one of the chefs involved in the academy, giving students a wild foraging experience.
He said: "Initiatives like the Michael Caines Academy are absolutely key to changing the image of the UK from somewhere that does pretty average food to a place where the food is seen as a reason to come in its own right. The South West has a real reputation for tourism and there's a real expectation from people travelling from London and overseas that we will match the skills evident in the city."
Mr Caines, who lost his right arm in a crash only two months after he became head chef at Gidleigh Park in 1994, has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of Britain's best-known chefs.
He was back in the kitchen only two weeks after the accident and has enjoyed regular appearances on television cookery shows as well as expanding his burgeoning empire.
It was a chance encounter with greetings card tycoon and former Bath Rugby owner Andrew Brownsword that led to the ABode hotel tie-up.
While Mr Caines is concerned that the economic turmoil affecting the eurozone could harm young British chefs he himself trained under some of the continent's finest.
He had three years under his mentor Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire. From there he then moved to France for a formative period under the guidance of superstars chefs such as Joël Robuchon in Paris.