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The Interview: Katie O'Brien, General manager, Juniper, Altrincham

Published:  23 July, 2008

Katie grew up on the east coast of Scotland. Her father ran hotels in Elgin and Fochabers, near Inverness, and insisted she do anything but catering. So Katie failed her Highers and went to work at the Golf View hotel in Nairn, which she describes as one long drinking party'. She worked in the bar, and in the kitchen on her days off because she wanted to learn and learn quickly'. She moved to Nunsmere Hall, near Chester, where she met Paul Kitching, then left for Hambleton Hall in 1992, working there for three years and driving up to see Paul on her days off. She helped set up Juniper with Kitching in 1995, before leaving to work for Nico Central in Manchester, returning to head the front-of-house and manage Juniper in 2001.

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