June 8, 2009 / 5:19 AM / 10 years ago

Restaurateur cooks up surprise UK "Apprentice" win

Yasmina Siadatan, seen in this handout photo, has been hired as Alan Sugar's 100,000 pound-a-year "Apprentice." REUTERS/Taylor Herring Public Relations Ltd/Handout

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Restaurant owner Yasmina Siadatan has been hired as Alan Sugar’s 100,000 pound-a-year “Apprentice,” beating the hottest favorite ever in the business reality show.

The 27-year-old overcame a shaky start in the final to beat the licensing development manager Kate Walsh.

The pair, with the help of former candidates fired in previous rounds, were given the task of branding a box of chocolates which they had to pitch to experts.

Despite having created quality chocolates, Walsh was penalized for overpricing her product.

“It’s a tough decision,” Sugar said before picking Siadatan.

“You are the best that I’ve ever had in the final in this boardroom, that I promise you. My instincts are telling me - Yasmina — You’re Hired!”

After the final he said: “Yasmina seemed to have that real business instinct, not just in sales or anything like that, but (she’s) innovative and understands the plot of where we’re going ... It’s gut instinct ... I can’t explain it.”

The winner said: “I really believed (that I was going to win), until I met Kate — I’m absolutely up for it. I think Sir Alan knows my qualities, the best way to make use of me.”

Reporting by Avril Ormsby. Editing by Keith Weir

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