Michael Caines Inspires Devon Business Community


Elite Devon businesses assembled to hear leading business coach Judy Salmon interview culinary superstar Michael Caines MBE at a private event at The Royal Clarence ABode Hotel in Exeter.

Elite Devon businesses assembled to hear leading business coach Judy Salmon interview culinary superstar Michael Caines MBE at a private event at The Royal Clarence ABode Hotel in Exeter.

Following a welcome reception for invited guests, Andrew Maynard of Michelmores introduced Judy Salmon and Michael Caines.

The thought-provoking interview that followed was designed to demonstrate to businesses that success really can be achieved even in the face of apparently insurmountable odds. 

Michael revealed that the most important lesson he had learned in his life was to take criticism constructively and this was especially important in a business context.  Michael said, “Be self-critical but also stubborn about what you truly believe in.” He added, “Use your strengths and beliefs to carve out your reputation.”

Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons was one of the chefs who had a profound influence on Michael and guests were treated to a fascinating history of Michael’s progress from being a student at Exeter College to the award-winning celebrity chef he is today.

Michael’s dynamic partnership with Andrew Brownsword led to the creation of ABode Hotels and Michael described how he had been inspired by Andrew’s business vision of ‘Originality, Personality, Quality’ making a perfect fit with Michael Caines restaurants.

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Michael is also noted for extensive charity work and Judy asked him how he managed to fit everything into his busy schedule he said, “I like to live life to the full and make sure that people around me have a good time – that’s why I like to get involved in so many things.”

But it was his final quote that brought the house down and created a huge wave of applause.  When Judy asked him to describe the secret of his success in just three words, Michael paused for a second and said ‘Hard bloody work!’

Judy Salmon said,

“As a local Business Coach and Training Consultant it is great to have the opportunity to show how success can be achieved in challenging times so that I can help my clients. I was delighted that Michael Caines gave up his valuable time to be interviewed by me. To hear Michael’s story, told in such a modest, open, courageous and humorous manner was outstanding, making one sit up and think about one’s own life.  I was also really pleased to be working with my sponsors Knight Frank, J M Finn & Co and Kirk Hills Chartered Accountants and am so grateful to them for supporting this event.”

William Morrison, Head of Knight Frank, Exeter said,

“The evening was a huge success with Judy Salmon creating a wonderful dynamic with local culinary superstar Michael Caines.  The business community was treated to a fascinating insight into how Michael overcame the odds that were stacked so heavily against him.  Not only has his career gone on to achieve great heights but he has also devoted considerable time and effort to his charity work.  He is an inspiration to us all and we were delighted to be joint hosts for this special evening.”

Bruce McIntosh of J M Finn Investment Management said:

“The story that unfolded during Judy Salmon’s insightful interview with Michael Caines yesterday evening was an inspiring illustration of what can be achieved with flair, commitment and determination.  Michael has done a huge amount to put and keep Devon on the culinary map and, through the Exeter Foundation, to provide valuable support to charitable causes within the county. We at J M Finn Investment Management are privileged to have been associated with the evening.”

David Kirk partner at Kirk Hills said, "Michael Caines is an inspiration to all who meet and hear him speak. His triumph over adversity to become one of the country's top chefs and entrepreneurs is testimony to what can be achieved with passion, dedication and pure hard work. We use the same attributes in our work and strive to exceed our clients’ expectations.  We were proud to jointly sponsor the Interview with Judy Salmon and our guests thoroughly enjoyed the evening "

Following the event, Michael said, “It was a wonderful occasion and an opportunity to raise money and awareness for the Exeter Foundation, being one of its trustees and also a patron of one of the many charities it supports, Families for Children.

I must compliment Judy for making the whole event the success it was and thanks to those who attended and who gave so generously to the charity.  It was an invaluable event for all involved.”

A raffle was held during the evening, which raised just under £850 for The Exeter Foundation.  Keiron Northcott of Northcott Beaton, who is one of the trustees of the Charity, accepted the funds on its behalf.

For more information about Judy Salmon click here

For more information about Michael Caines click here

To visit Knight Frank, Exeter website click here

To visit Kirk Hills website click here

To visit JM Finn & Co website click here

Photos by Anita Newcombe

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