Here’s an introduction to the main characters in the books featured on this site.
Five Essential Ingredients for Business Success
Stories & Lessons From Three Of The UK’s Greatest Restaurants
I met many incredible individuals during my years studying and writing about the 3 restaurants involved. Here are some of them:
Michael Caines MBE
Michael was the Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh whilst I was there. He has since moved on, no doubt to develop himself even further. Michael is an unstoppable creative force.
Raymond Blanc OBE
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is the creation of the genius, Raymond Blanc OBE. He has an enthusiasm, energy and charisma that simply cannot be taught. When my wife met him she ignored me and everyone else, focussing on every word he said.
Gary has been the Executive Head Chef at Le Manoir since 1999. I had one of the best lunches of my life standing in the corner of his kitchen. Sometime you meet someone and just know you are going to get on with them right from the very beginning, that’s how I felt when I met Gary.
Benoit Blin MCA
Benoit is the Chef Patissier at Le Manoir. He is one of the greatest pastry chefs in the world. I had never imagined I would enjoy pastries and desserts until I met Benoit. His brilliance changed my mind completely.
Michel Roux OBE
Michel opened The Waterside Inn in 1972. By 1985 he had achieved 3 Michelin Stars. The restaurant is now one of the few in the world to have held 3 Michelin Stars for over 30 years.
The Waterside Inn has been in the hugely talented hands of Michel’s son, Alain, since 2002. Alain is a quiet master of his craft. To find about more about him and the rest of The Waterside team click on the link below:
The Diego Masciaga Way
Diego also features in Five Essential Ingredients.
Diego was a Director and the General Manager at The Waterside Inn till June 2018. Peter Jones CBE, the British entrepreneur, described Diego as ‘The General’ when it comes to customer service. He is not the only fan. Diego has a worldwide reputation for both his professional excellence and his mentoring, development and support of countless others.
The former Director of Campaigns and Elections for Tony Blair’s Labour government and former Head of Campaigns and Research at The Football Association, Alan one of those rare individuals who thinks that what he does – and the level he can do it at – is just obvious. Here’s an introduction to him and the rest of the team at bbm campaigns:
The Brain Always Wins
Dr John Sullivan
John has worked for many years at the highest levels of sport, law enforcement and the military, providing training and teaching in brain management to many elite organizations including the NFL, Los Angeles SWAT and the Navy SEALS. He not only knows what he’s talking about, he knows how to apply what he’s talking about.
The City Fox and others in our Community
Basil, the city fox
Although the The City Fox and others in our community is a poetry collection three of the characters are real. They are my father, Syd, who died as a result of a second stroke, Basil the city fox and me.
The less-real people
The real people
All of whom are inspirational.
These are all to a greater or lesser degree products of my imagination and specific qualities, attitudes or looks of people I’ve met or seen. What follows is an insight into some of the more prominent less-real people.
Marcus Kline is the world’s leading expert in communications and influence. His hair, height and some of his skills are based on Alan Barnard. His other skills are mine. Sadly for both Alan and me, Marcus is more skilled than either of us. That’s the upside of being a fictional character. The downside is that he doesn’t get to enjoy today in the way we can.
When we first meet Marcus he is arrogant and easy to dislike. (His arrogance is not based on anyone I know.) I suspect over the course of the trilogy Marcus is likely to change.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jones is an experienced and successful hunter of criminals. He is emotionally intelligent, focussed and tough, and inspires great loyalty from his team. His approach to his work is influenced significantly by a real life version of Peter Jones. The fictional Peter is Marcus’ best friend.
Anne-Marie Wells is Marcus’ wife. She is professional photographer with a worldwide reputation and following. She is creative and thoughtful, driven by a desire to take the perfect photo. Anne-Marie has a most significant secret she keeps from Marcus until near the very end of Influence. She is completely a product of my imagination.
The City Fox and others in our community
The community is made up of the following:
Writer, swordsmith, gardener, Mary, Peter, priest, soldier, charity worker, the old man, dog walker, grandson, schoolteacher, schoolboy, Martin, newsagent, occasional farm boy, uncle, homeless man sitting on damp cardboard, travellers, business guru, Jean, Syd, neighbours, me, Epiah Khan (possibly).
The majority of these are purely imaginary characters. Epiah Khan, though, is worth a mention. He has been in my mind for a very long time. I have found a reason to quote him in most of my books. Here are my notes about Epiah:
Epiah Khan is an apocryphal Persian mystic and martial artist who first appeared in Europe in 1907. Living in London for six years he attracted a handful of disciples from a range of social backgrounds before moving abruptly and without warning to Paris in the Spring of 1913. From there he moved to Verdun just before the start of the First World War. His last writings were dated April 16th 1916, less than seven weeks after the start of the battle intended to ‘bleed France white’. It is presumed that he died during the fighting and that his body was never identified.
His tradition of holistic martial arts and intense mystical practice was continued by one of his London disciples, a woman known only as Catherine, who herself accepted only one student. I referred to him as The Master, the teacher of Adam, in Insights: Along The Warrior’s Path which featured for over ten years as a regular column in Terry O’Neill’s wonderful magazine Fighting Arts International and as a collection of short stories in a book of the same name.
One day I will share the sayings of Epiah Khan. The collection is titled Living in the Moment.