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Introducing the 2019 FutureChef Winner

Jessica Mitchell from Central Scotland

2019 FutureChef winner Jessica Mitchel

Once again is delighted to sponsor Springboard’s FutureChef competition. This incredible initiative offers young people from across the country the opportunity to learn new skills in the kitchen and can open their eyes to the possibilities of a rewarding career in hospitality.

Jessica Mitchell beat eleven other finalists for the title with an impressive main course of chicken breast with butternut squash, confit chicken leg and fondant potato, and an apple and frangipane tart with a vanilla pod parfait and caramelised apple for dessert.

Of her win, Jessica said, “Before FutureChef, I had thought about becoming a chef but I thought it seemed a bit scary. Working with my mentor and having the chance to work in a professional kitchen has encouraged me to pursue it as a career”.

Proud Mum Sue Mitchell, held back tears of pride, saying she was “Chuffed”

She went to say that Springboard’s FutureChef is “an experience you could never have bought. It has definitely cemented Jessica’s wish to work in the hospitality sector. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Who are FutureChef?

Now in its 20th year, Springboard’s FutureChef supports the food curriculum in schools and provides a pipeline of culinary talent into the vibrant hospitality industry. The FutureChef competition celebrates young culinary talent and inspires them to enter the exciting expanding world of hospitality.

On the importance of Springboard’s FutureChef competition, leading British chef Brian Turner CBE, who has been involved with Springboard and FutureChef from the competition’s inception said, “There isn’t enough domestic science and food tech being taught in schools today, so young people aren’t learning the basic skills of cooking that sustain their way of living. Initiatives like FutureChef are so important as the encourage young people to develop their skills and importantly enter our wonderful industry.”

What parents need to know about the hospitality industry

Vinny Speight, Father of finalist, Leigh said, “I think some parents don’t regard working in the industry as a skilled career choice. Maybe they’re unaware of the huge range of positions that make the Industry tick. We’ll support Leigh in whatever career path she chooses. We don’t really have any preconceptions as to what we would like her career path to be, just as long as she is happy doing it and if she was happy with a career in hospitality that’s great.”

Sue Mitchell said, “As a parent I believed the long hours would not be good. I realise now that although that could be the case, there are many routes that one can take. Jessica is keen to study business to compliment her aim to be involved in hospitality.”

Sandra Gibb, Mother of another finalist, Kian said, “Some people are reluctant to let their children go in to this industry as I think they see long hours. I also feel some people don’t realise what the industry has to offer. Being in hospitality opens the doors for so much, whether you work in a cafe, hotel the army or on a cruise ship. The world is your oyster of you can work in any of the jobs in hospitality.”

“If Kian wanted to pursue a career in hospitality, I would 100% support him through this, and help him in every way. He has such a passion for cooking and puts his heart and soul in to it, and even though he didn’t win, it hasn’t put him off. He has been straight home and back on to cooking. And even sorted out a few work experiences over the holidays. So I would say let them be what they want to be. It’s a great industry to work in, not saying it’s a easy job but a great career to have under your belt.”

Encouraging more young people into the industry

Springboard’s FutureChef competition started in since 1999, solely as a cooking competition. It now consists of four rounds in schools, local, regional and national finals. This year saw 14,352 reduced down to the 12 that took part in the final. Though the competition was a great way of getting young people involved in the culinary arts, The Springboard Charity knew it needed to do more. It was from this need that the FutureChef programme was created, a year-round education programme that seeks to educate young people in schools about food and nutrition.

2019 FutureChef Final Highlights

Find out more about FutureChef here


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