Michael’s FutureChef journey

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February 2022

Michael participated in the school heats for three years, in his fourth year he won the Regional final in Northern Ireland and competed in the National Final heats in London. To have met Michael Deane and Jean Christophe Novelli during the Regional Final was an amazing encouragement for all of the young people in the competition wanting to have a career in the industry. Since then, Michael has met many other encouraging people and has been able to develop his understanding of the hospitality business. 

March 2022

Michael had a fantastic two-day adventure in London with Springboard FutureChef where he and the other finalists experience first-hand the high standards of service and food within the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane and the 5-star Berkely, in Knightsbridge. He listened to the development plans of the hotel group, the journeys of esteemed chefs and the exciting opportunities that previous participants have been able to avail of via the Springboard FutureChef initiative. After returning Michael was full of drive and excitement to continue his learning within Northern Ireland.

April 2022

Campbell College Belfast overtly recognised Michael efforts and their support for his career development by noting his achievement through the awarding of Colours for Culinary Skills. He now proudly wears an Honours Green Blazer at school.

March 2022

Michael was invited to join Henderson’s Food Service at the IFEX trade show at Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Michael took part in a demonstration and was introduced to many individuals in the industry. 

April 2022

A further invite was extended by Henderson’s FoodService to attend a mobile event by Callebaut. Not only did Michael have the opportunity to see the demonstration by the award winning pastry chef, Sarah Hartnett, he competently engaged in discussion throughout the day and spoke of his journey and interest in the industry alongside the Executive Head Chefs of the Marriott and the Hastings Group. A number of the Henderson Food Service team spoke with Michael and expressed their ongoing support and sponsorship of the programme and his personal efforts.

June 2022

Michael was personally invited to Michael Deane’s Michelin Star restaurant, EIPIC. Here he spent the day in the kitchen with Alex Green, where he was provided with hand-on experience.

Michael was fortunate enough to later go to EIPIC, and sample the extensive tasting menu with family members whilst experiencing first-hand Michelin Star service.

July 2022

Having developed his skills and confidence over a number of months, Michael has now secured a part-time job in a local restaurant within walking distance from his home, under Cath Gradwell who trained under the demanding tutelage of the godfathers of modern restaurant cuisine, the Roux Brothers. He is delighted to begin his working career with Johnathan Davis in Neills Hill, located in East Belfast.

January 2023

Michael has agreed to support our upcoming FutureChef competition by being a judge at the next Northern Ireland Finals, which will be held at Belfast Metropolitan College (Titanic Quarters) in January 2023.

Published: 17th October 2022

Last edited: 17th October 2022