University College Birmingham student Katie Cooper has won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017.
The 16-year-old beat 12 other finalists at the cook off at Westminster Kingsway College.
Amy Campbell from Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen came in second, while Kieran Jones from Homewood School and Sixth Form, Kent, was third.
Cooper was mentored by Anthony Wright, a senior chef lecturer who runs the Atrium restaurant at University College Birmingham. She triumphed having served a 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.
Cooper, pictured with Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) president Brian Turner and Sodexo culinary director David Mulcahy, said: “It’s taken me three years to reach the National Final. It’s great to have made it and to have won. I see myself going on in the industry and going as far as possible, possibly opening my own restaurant.”
Speaking at the National Final, Anne Pierce, Springboard’s chief executive, said: “Congratulations to all of our hard-working, committed finalists – they have all been part of a great FutureChef. It really is amazing to see the quality of work by young chefs improve year on year, the talent we see as a result of the Springboard FutureChef initiative is remarkable and Katie is a true winner.”
Cooper receives a visit to Ascot, courtesy of sponsor Sodexo, and the opportunity to work with the caterer’s chefs. The University College Birmingham also receives a £500 voucher courtesy of Bunzl Lockhart.