Twelve aspiring young chefs from Edinburgh and the Lothians competed in Springboard’s FutureChef local final at Edinburgh College this week.
The group of 12-16-year-old school pupils had an hour and a half to prepare, cook and serve a hot main course and a hot or cold dessert for two people whilst working within a specified budget and ensuring a nutritionally balanced meal.
FutureChef aims to tackle the severe skills shortage facing the hospitality sector by offering young people the opportunity to develop their cooking skills and understanding nutrition.
Hannah Cowan of Bathgate Academy and Wojciech Cyzewskyi of Castlebrae High School fought off stiff competition to be crowned the winners on the day and will go on to represent their region in the Central and South Scotland Regional Final on 2 February 2017.
Mandy Purdie, a catering lecturer at the college, was one of the judges on the day alongside Stephen Frost, exec chef at Sodexo Prestige.
Mandy said: “The standard of food cooked by the pupils was outstanding. They demonstrated experience and technical skills beyond some first year catering students. We were all truly blown away by their efforts and they gave us a tough decision when choosing the winners.
“We hope Hannah and Wojciech will join us for a day in the college kitchen and that all of the pupils will consider a career in catering. They were all fantastic and we would be delighted to welcome them to study at the college.”