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Jessica Higgins crowned Futurechef 2011

22 March 2011 by
Jessica Higgins crowned Futurechef 2011

Sixteen-year old Jessica Higgins has been crowned winner of Futurechef 2011.

Higgins saw off stiff competition from 11 other finalists with her menu, impressing a panel of high profile judges, including Theo Randall, Cyrus Todiwala OBE, Joe Queen, and David Mulcahy of Sodexo.

Higgins said: "I am speechless and overwhelmed, the competition was tough and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I feel I have accomplished a lot.

"I am really grateful for this opportunity and all the support given to me through Springboard's FutureChef."

The 12 talented young national finalists were challenged to produce a two course meal for four people within a two hour time limit.

Higgins' winning menu, created from a basket of ingredients compiled by the Craft Guild of Chefs, included a main course of confit and pan fried sea bass, carrot puree, broad beans and sundried tomatoes, potato skins and shallots served with a fondant potato and Buerre Blanc.

She followed with a dessert of rich chocolate fondant with a tangy orange scent, served with glazed oranges.

Dee Smith, head of youth programmes at Springboard said that to make it to the national final is a fantastic achievement. "Congratulations to Jessica for winning this year, I wish her all the best in the future," she added.

A record number of 739 schools registered for the 2011 competition. which saw 7897 students participate nationwide to take part in Springboard's FutureChef.

The FutureChef 2011 finalists:

  • Winner: Jessica Higgins, 16, South Bromsgrove High School, West Midlands
  • Runner up: Meghan Bell, 14, Ferrers Specialist Arts College, East Midlands
  • Third: Ruth Hansom, 15, Longfield School, North East England
  • Fourth: Elisha Potter, 15, Teignmouth Community College, West Country
  • Jordan Esmaeli, 14, St Michael's C of E High School, North West England
  • Christopher Marshall, 14, Wellington School, Northern Ireland
  • Jane MacInnes, 13, Back School, North Scotland
  • Kelly Read, 16, Hampton College, East of England
  • William Kent, 15, Passmores School and Technology College, London
  • Rachel Notarangelo, 14, Holy Rood High School, Central & South Scotland
  • Steffan Davies, 16, Tre-gib Comprehensive School, Wales
  • Faye Hardy, 14, Blenheim School, South East England

The FutureChef 2011 judges:

  • David Mulcahy, craft & food development director, Sodexo UK & Ireland
  • Matt Owens, executive pastry chef, Zuidam UK
  • Joe Queen, executive chef, Hilton Hotels
  • Cyrus Todiwala OBE, proprietor and executive chef of the Café Spice Namasté
  • Theo Randall, chef-patron at Theo Randall at the InterContinental
  • Derek Quelch, executive chef, The Goring Hotel
  • Steve Munkley, executive chef, the Royal Garden Hotel
  • Kerry Johansen, FutureChef 2010 Winner

* See photos from the Futurechef 2011 final on Table Talk >>

By Janie Stamford

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