Sweet victory as Yasmina becomes the Apprentice

RESTAURANT owner Yasmina Siadatan won a job with Alan Sugar in last night’s shock final of The Apprentice.

The 27-year-old Londoner was hired by Sugar on what she described as the businessman’s “gut instinct”, despite rival Kate Walsh being in a good position to win.

In the final episode, the finalists were given a task to create a new brand of chocolates, which they had to pitch to a roomful of industry experts, including Waitrose’s chief buyer.

Ms Walsh and her team, which was made up of former contestants Debra Barr, Ben Clarke, Kimberley Davis and Rocky Andrews, designed a box of chocolates for couples.

Their box was made up of three “shelves” – one for her, one for him, and one to share. The concept was praised by Sugar but he said charging e13 was not commercially viable.

Ms Siadatan’s team, made up of Howard Ebison, Philip Taylor, James McQuillan and Lorraine Tighe, created a brand called Cocoa Electric, which was designed to “shock” with flavours such as basil and strawberry, and popping candy chilli.

Sugar told her the branding and pricing were excellent but the taste – which even caused one model to spit out a chocolate after filming the advert – needed work.

Asked how she felt to have won, Ms Siadatan said: “I can’t believe it, I am in shock. All those months ago you first apply to try to get on, and here I am – it’s amazing.”

On beating the consistent achiever Ms Walsh, Ms Siadatan said the mistakes she had made during the series – which included confusing the gross profit with the net profit of her restaurant on her CV – may have endeared her to the Apprentice boss.

She said: “I don’t feel like I’ve beaten Kate because I feel we both deserved that job, and we feel we just had different qualities and Sir Alan needed my qualities over hers. I don’t think mine were any better than hers, I just think that’s the kind of guy Sir Alan is, and I’m sure Kate will do just as well as I do but on a different path.

“[Sugar] described it in a nutshell when he said, ‘I can’t put it into words why I chose Yasmina, it was just a gut instinct’ and I think because of the way that I performed, even though I made some quite serious errors as we’ve seen, I was also able to show him that I exceeded in certain areas. The profit I made in the catering task was the biggest profit he’s ever seen on an Apprentice task.”

Ms Siadatan is looking forward to starting work with Sugar, even though the job – in digital sign-age – is a world away from her restaurant Mya Lacarte in Caversham.

“I’ve been adaptable my whole life, so I relish the opportunity to work in a digital signage company now,” she said.

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