ROUX BUSY EXPANDING WHITEHALL WAISTLINES

IT’S been a busy few months for master chef Michel Roux Jr, splitting his time between fostering his burgeoning TV career and appointing a new chef for his latest venture, Roux at Parliament Square.

In addition to his ongoing judge’s spot on Masterchef, Roux has also been busy filming a series set to hit our screens next year – “Michel Roux’s Service”, a BBC production where a bunch of youngsters will fight it out to be trained in the almost-forgotten skills of restaurant front of house. (Roux, of course, is used to nothing but the best, having worked with the “godfather” of London maitre d’s, Silvano Giraldin, for years and years at Le Gavroche.)

Meanwhile, over at Parliament Square, The Capitalist hears he’s just installed Toby Stuart as his new chef, fresh out of his position as senior sous-chef at the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows.

Eagle-eyed spies tell me that Stuart – who originally sharpened his kitchen knives at some of the finest eateries in the world, including The Square, L’Escargot and Auberge du Lac – has been given something of a baptism of fire with the distinguished patrons frequenting the joint. Just a stone’s throw from the House of Commons, he’s already cooked for the likes of defence secretary Liam Fox, shadow chancellor Alan Johnson and chancellor George Osborne – though I’m told PM David Cameron has yet to make an appearance…

PUBLICITY STUNT

Todd Combs, the hedge fund manager elevated by billionaire investor Warren Buffett to oversee a significant part of his firm Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio, might need to get himself a spot of media training if he’s going to become prime candidate to succeed the Sage of Omaha himself.

Buffett, speaking to Fortune magazine about the appointment, described Combs as an “all-American type” who shuns publicity. That’s hardly a phrase you could use to describe Buffett himself, who has previously gone as far as to dress up in a wig and bandanna and perform as rock star Axl Rose in a television commercial to promote one of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio companies, Geico – all in the name of publicity.

top marks for effort

Where graduates once sweated over online applications in the elusive search for that first job, the students of today have become ever more enterprising.

In the depths of the crisis, we had jobseekers walking around cities with billboards around their necks and one memorable candidate standing on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square advertising his skills.

That trend continues – one young chap, Matthew Riley, tells The Capitalist he plans to stand outside Bank station this morning handing out 1,000 copies of his CV to commuters, in the hope of landing an internship.

Apparently, the second-year student is interested in opportunities in investor relations or client management – and not so long ago tried a similar stunt at Canary Wharf, when the distribution of less than half that number of CVs landed him an interview at Shell.

PARADISE FOUND

Tempting stuff, this, at a time when uncertainty is rife and many jobs in the financial services sector are looking less than 100 per cent secure.

Escape The City – the website set up by two former management consultants during the economic crisis, in order to help workers pursue their dream careers – has teamed up with holiday group Paradise Hunter to launch a competition to land the job of a lifetime.

Said job involves being paid $60,000 (£37,900) to travel around the world for 52 weeks, presenting a TV series for Paradise Hunter – taking in the sights and culture of no fewer than 12 countries, including Belize, Costa Rica, the British Virgin Islands, New Zealand, Thailand and India, along the way.

What’s more, the successful “job” applicant will be given a property worth up to $150,000 at the end of the year in their favourite “paradise” country. Are they for real?

LEADING LIGHT

Well-deserved kudos yesterday for Morgan Stanley’s international treasurer David Buckley, who was honoured with the Walker Award for Commitment to Diversity in Financial Services – an award established in memory of Tory peer and former chairman of Kleinwort Benson Lord Walker, a committed campaigner for greater diversity for the City, who died earlier this year.

The award was set up by an organisation called The City Fellowships in Financial Services, founded to help American minority financiers living in London, which applauded Buckley’s “career-long dedication and outstanding commitment to the empowerment of women and ethnic minorities in the City”. Hear, hear.