A 16-year-old aspiring chef has won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 cooking competition, beating more than 9,000 other 12-16 year olds from across the UK to the title.
Katie Cooper from University College Birmingham took the top prize at the finals at Westminster Kingsway College yesterday (27th March) with her 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.
“It’s taken me three years to reach the National Final. It’s great to have made it and to have won,” she said. “I see myself going on in the industry and going as far as possible, possibly opening my own restaurant.”
Since it began in 2000, FutureChef has seen more than 100,000 school pupils involved in the competition, which helps people aged 12-16 learn to cook, explore food and develop a vital life skill.
As well as being crowned FutureChef 2017, Cooper won a visit to Ascot, courtesy of sponsor Sodexo, where she will work with top chefs before enjoying Ascot’s full hospitality. The school also receives a voucher to the value of £500 courtesy of Bunzl Lockhart.
FutureChef chairman Brian Turner said: “It has been a fantastic day and it’s good to see so many dedicated young people with so much talent. Thanks must also go to teachers and mentors who make such a great contribution to the success of the event. Katie is a great winner.”
The competition runner-up was Amy Campbell, aged 14, from Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen. She and three guests have won a trip to the Delaware North box at Wembley for the 2017 Summertime Ball and Amy will undertake a work placement in the VIP area before the concert. Third place went to Kieran Jones, aged 15, from Homewood School and Sixth Form in Kent. He and his mentor will work on an inspirational dinner with a celebrity chef and the Elior development chefs to produce a fine dining banquet for 100 guests.