Year 8 Chloe Wins Futurechef Heat To Represent Coventry And Warwickshire In Regional Finals

Princethorpe College school heat winners, Year 8, Chloe O’Carroll Bailey and, Year 10, Jonti Spillman took part in the Springboard Futurechef Local Finals on Monday 3 December. The competition was hosted by Caludon Castle School in Coventry and saw five young school heat qualifiers from three schools, Caludon Castle School, Lutterworth High School and Princethorpe College, battling for a place in the Regional Final which will take place next year in February at Birmingham College University.

The competitors cooked a two course meal, a main and a dessert, for two people in 90 minutes for a budget of up to £7 under the scrutiny of four professional chefs who were the judges for competition.

Chloe’s menu featured a main course of pork with prunes and apple served with green beans and roasted potatoes accompanied by a chocolate orange fondant volcano with orange cream. Whilst Jonti cooked loin of lamb with parmesan risotto and spinach, his dessert was a lemon cheesecake and a sesame tuile.

Both pupils were nervous but had put a lot of effort into practising to prepare for the competition. Chloe had a problem when her oven went out whilst her fondant was cooking, but the judges let her finish cooking. Jonti worked so efficiently that he was finished with 15 minutes to spare.

The organisers of the competition, Springboard, provide opportunities for young people aged 12-16 to explore food and develop their culinary skills. Each year over 8,000 young chefs take part in their national competition.

Announcing the winners the judges commented that they were impressed with the talent shown throughout the morning. They praised the contestants for the high standard of the dishes produced and agreed that the competitors had displayed good technique and execution.

The youngest competitor by far, Princethorpe’s Chloe cooked up a storm and was judged overall winner. She will now go on to represent Coventry and Warwickshire at the Regional Final in Birmingham. Chloe has been allocated a chef mentor, Lawrence Jeffries, who is the Executive Chef for Warwick and Cheltenham racecourses. She also won a cookbook and will have her own set of personalised whites. Jonti was placed third; he also received a cookbook.

Chloe will now spend time with her mentor at the dining suite at Warwick Racecourse where she will meet the chefs and learn new skills, such as how to ballotine a chicken, and develop her menu for the Regional Final.

Chloe said, “I am completely in shock, I saw the standard of the other competitors and thought that their food looked amazing. I was pleased to be given the opportunity to take part and never expected to win”.

Food and Nutrition Teacher, Jacqui Scott, commented, “I am extremely proud of both of Princethorpe’s competitors who put a lot of time and effort into menu planning and practising. The food they produced was of the highest standard and was beautifully presented. Both meals could have been served at a restaurant table. They were calm and collected throughout the tense 90 minutes and all four chefs gave very positive feedback to them saying it was a very difficult decision. This was been such a great experience for the pupils so I am sure that the competition will become a regular event in the College calendar.”