This afternoon I was invited to the National Finals for the FutureChef 2013 competition which is organised by Springboard and hosted at Westminster Kingsway College with the proceedings carried out by celebrity Chef Brain Turner, who is also the FutureChef Chairman.
This year there were 8,768 competitors that took part, made up of 12-16 year olds who have been inspired to show off their cooking skills and had to cook a hot main course for two within a budget of £5. From this 76 local finals took place where the competitors had to cook a hot main course and a dessert for two within a budget of £7. There were then 12 regional finals where the competitors had to cook a hot main course and a desert for two within a budget of £10. The 12 finalists from this were then able to showcase their skills at the National finals that were held at Westminster Kingsway College today where they had to cook a two course meal consisting of a hot main course and dessert for three people from a specially selected basket of ingredients. These young and talented chefs had their cooking judged by a panel of high profile and celebrated chefs that were awarding marks for creativity and presentation, menu balance, composition, taste and flavour and workmanship.
The Future Chef 2013 winner was 14 year old Hayley Cancea from The Deepings School in the East of England.
This competition really brings out the passion of our young and talented aspiring future chefs and it is wonderful to see at such a young age how this talent is being nurtured by some great industry mentors. Long may it continue.