You are here

Springboard’s FutureChef crowns 2019 winner

Posted on 19 March, 2019

Winner - FutureChef 2019 Jessica Mitchell

The Springboard Charity’s FutureChef has a new winner – 14 year-old Jessica Mitchell from Glasgow, who won the 2019 National Final on Monday.

Jessica, who attends The High School of Glasgow beat eleven other contestants for the coveted title, wowing the judges with her main 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.

Thrilled about her success, 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."

Sue Mitchell, Jessica’s mum, was overjoyed at her daughter’s success, saying: “Chuffed! An experience you could never have bought, and it has definitely cemented her wish to work in the hospitality sector. I couldn’t be prouder!”

All of the competitors have practiced tirelessly over the last year, and it showed on the day – with the young people remaining calm and collected under pressure. The decision was difficult to make, with such a high standard of cuisine presented to the judges. Jessica was followed closely by the runners up – with Ray Gardner, 15, from Woodlands School, London, coming second, and Maisie Speller, 13, Notley High School in Essex coming third.

FutureChef 2019 Finalists

FutureChef has been running since 1999, starting out solely as the competition. The competition consists of four rounds – or heats – 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. 

Brian Turner CBE, the British chef and household name, got involved with Springboard and FutureChef from the competition’s inception. He believes the programme is vital for educating young people about nutrition and getting them into the industry. Brian said, “There are two reasons why we need FutureChef. The first is that there isn’t nearly enough domestic science and food tech being taught today, so young people aren’t learning the basic skills of cooking that sustain their way of living. Second, it encourages people to develop their skills and enter into the industry.”

The programme is supported by multiple industry names, including the Worshipful Company of Cooks, The Savoy Educational Trust, The Hilton Hotels, Nestlé Professional, Compass Group, Sodexo, BaxterStorey, Fairfax Meadow, Delaware North, HIT Training, Caterer.com and Bidfood to name a few. 

The winner will be taken to the Henley Royal Regatta to work with Sodexo Executive chefs, including two nights’ hotel accommodation, afternoon tea and an evening meal. The second place runner up will receive four tickets for the 2019 Capital FM Summertime Ball in the Delaware North Box at Wembley Stadium as well as a work placement in the VIP area before the concert. Finally, the third place runner up will allow the winner and their mentor to work with a celebrity chef and the Elior development chefs to produce a fine dining event for 100 guests, courtesy of Elior.
 
Anne Pierce, the CEO of the Springboard Charity, said, “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."


Testimonials

McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

We chose HIT as our training provider not only because of their specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry, but also because of their genuine passion for our brand and their understanding of our company culture. We believe that they can deliver our training to a very high standard whilst passing on our company ethos and values. Their attention to detail is second to none.

Charlotte Thoms, Talent Manager, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey

CONTACT AN OFFICE NEAR YOU

Over 450 training staff operating from 30 offices countrywide

• OPERATING NATIONALLY

• DELIVERING LOCALLY

With a strong local focus, HIT Training offers coverage throughout the nation. Our skilled trainers and training consultants are based in every county of England.

You can apply for a training programme with HIT at any time whether for current staff or looking for new team members. Or if you just need someone to talk to, we’re always pleased to hear from you.

Find a local expert