First Place: Jessica Mitchell, 14 The High School of Glasgow, Glasgow
FutureChef has been an amazing experience for me. It has given me confidence in my cooking ability and has allowed me to see what life would be like in a professional kitchen. I have always had a passion for food and cooking and have wanted to be a chef since the age of 8.
I have learned many more skills on my FutureChef journey from my mentor, Chef Jav Aziz, Elior and I am very grateful for all the advice and help he has given me. I want to continue to learn all I can about cooking and hopefully one day I will have a career in this wonderful industry.
Second place: Ray Gardner, 15 Woodlands School, Essex
I’ve always had a passion for cooking using nice ingredients, I read loads of cooking books and enjoy watching famous chefs make something extraordinary, I then love the feeling I get when I recreate it myself.
Cooking must be in my blood, my Nan worked as a chef, and I’ve since discovered that my Great Great Grandfather and his four sons all had their own bakeries, going way back to the first world war. When I was 11, I spent a day cooking with my cooking hero Raymond Blanc at the Michelin starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison and haven’t stopped cooking since. My mentor throughout this competition, Executive Chef at Delaware North: Gary Foakes, is my new inspiration and I’ve really enjoyed working with him. Thank you Gary.
Third place: Maisie Speller, 13 Notley High School, Essex
My love for cooking began when I was young and started baking with my Mum and Nanny’s. I want to thank my family, my mentor and my Food Tech teachers who have supported me throughout the competition. I never thought I would get to the National Final of FutureChef and to have the opportunity to cook in many professional kitchens. Many doors have been opened for my dream career due to this amazing competition!
All finalists received:
- £100 cash prize from the Worshipful Company of Cooks, £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 the Craft Guild of Chefs
- Personally embroidered chef jackets provided by Johnsons Stalbridge Linen
- Skull caps sponsored by Tonstate
- ‘CHEF BOOK’ for each finalist, teacher and mentor chef, donated by BaxterStorey
- The Full Firmdale Hotels experience, packed full of exciting learning opportunities, headed by Group Executive Head Chef, Robin Read and by Group Kitchen Trainer, Stephane Cerisier. It includes demonstrations, kitchen tours, meet and greets with head chefs and the opportunity to ask questions alongside a variety of innovative masterclasses – all courtesy of Firmdale Hotels.