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Michele (FOH) and Russell (chef)


This couple believe a family friendly restaurant with a warm inviting atmosphere is a must.

Restaurateurs: Michele and Russell
From: Essex
Restaurant name: The Cheerful Soul
Restaurant concept: A warm, friendly place with junk furniture and home sewn table cloths.

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Michele and Russell react to their success.

More video

David Moore and Sarah Willingham

The Inspectors on Michele and Russell

"They're a really strong couple. They had taken on board what we said, they'd stuck with it and we saw improvement every week".


Michele and Russell

Michele and Russell look ahead

"To get this would mean so much to us and will change our lives. That's what given me the confidence. If you want something so much you just keep fighting until you get it".


Michele and Russell's signature dish

Michele and Russell's signature dish

Warm goat's cheese salad dressed with white wine vinaigrette and elder flowers.


Background and culinary experience

Michele (34) and Russell (30) work together running a small buffet business. Russell is the chef, writing menus, preparing food and keeping financial records while Michele liaises with the clients, helps in the kitchen and serves on the night.

I think we've got what it takes to run a successful restaurant. I've got the skills to look after the customers and Russell is fantastic in the kitchen.


After setting up their business with £80 they reached a turnover of £35,000 in their first year. Russell is an experienced chef and has worked in a restaurant since the age of 12. They love working together but are considering going back to regular jobs to make enough money to start their own restaurant business but the possibility of spending time apart is really upsetting them.

The Menu

Raymond Blanc

A recipe for success

Raymond makes a pesto sauce.

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