First place: Katie Cooper, 16, University College Birmingham, Birmingham
Katie Cooper, 16, from University College Birmingham, won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 cooking competition, beating over 9,000 12-16 year olds from across the UK in the process. FutureChef has now seen over 100,000 school pupils involved since it began in 2000.
On hearing she won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 Katie said: “It’s taken me three years to reach the National Final. It’s great to have made it and to have won. I see myself going on in the industry and going as far as possible, possibly opening my own restaurant.”
Katie beat 11 other finalists and served up a menu of pan-fried sea bass with cauliflower puree and a red wine reduction, followed by a dessert of chocolate cheesecake with raspberry and caramel shards. She was mentored by Anthony Wright, University College Birmingham.
Katie received a visit to Ascot, courtesy of sponsor Sodexo. She got to work with top chefs and her and her guests will enjoy Ascot’s full hospitality. Katie's school also received a voucher to the value of £500 courtesy of Bunzl Lockhart.
Second place: Amy Campbell, 14, Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen
The winner of this prize was able to invite three people to the Delaware North box at Wembley for the 2017 Summertime Ball. The winner also undertook a work placement in the VIP area before the concert, shadowing Executive Chef for Hospitality, Mark Reynolds. The prize included seeing the back of house area at Wembley Stadium, with the winner joining their guests for the concert itself. Courtesy of Delaware North.
“FutureChef has been a fantastic experience and I have loved every minute of it! It has helped me develop many valuable skills and the knowledge I have gained from my mentor has been amazing! It has also really opened my eyes to lots of new opportunities and a potential career; I can’t wait!”
Third place: Kieran Jones, 15, Homewood School and Sixth Form, Kent
This prize allowed the winner and their mentor to work on an inspirational dinner with a celebrity chef and the Elior development chefs to produce a fine dining banquet for 100 guests. Courtesy of Elior.
“FutureChef has boosted my confidence massively. Feeling like I feel at the minute, 3rd place feels like I've won. I'm so proud of myself that I can come here for the first time and come 3rd place out of 9,150 people. It just feels amazing!
To other young people thinking of trying out FutureChef I'd say just do it. You never know what you're going to love until you try it.”
All finalists received:
- £100 cash prize from the Worshipful Company of Cooks
- Personally embroidered aprons provided by Russums
- Commemorative plates supplied by Bunzl Lockhart
- Commemorative medals supplied by Craft Guild of Chefs
- Personally embroidered chef jackets provided by Johnsons Stalbridge Linen
- Skull caps sponsored by Tonstate
- Copy of Adam Handling’s book: ‘Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen’
- The full Firmdale experience, packed full of exciting learning opportunities headed by Group Executive Chef Robin Reed and Group Kitchen Trainer Stephane Cerisier, including demonstrations, kitchen tours, meet and greets with head chefs and the opportunity to ask questions alongside a variety of innovative masterclasses.
National Final Gallery