WestKing hosts Springboard FutureChef Awards - CCCG
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WestKing hosts Springboard FutureChef Awards

WestKing’s Victoria Centre hosts the National Final of culinary competition to find the UK’s best young chef.

On 18 March, Westminster Kingsway College’s (WestKing) Victoria Centre, home to Capital City College Group’s (CCCG) renowned School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, hosted the 25th Springboard FutureChef Finals.

WestKing hosts Springboard FutureChef Awards

The Springboard FutureChef Awards is a national competition to find the best young chef in the country. This year’s competition started with 13,000 entries from 515 schools, with students from Years 9 to 11 (S3 to S5 in Scotland and Years 10 to 12 in Northern Ireland) donning their aprons to compete against their peers. Budding chefs competed in School Heats, Local Finals and Regional Finals and were whittled down to 12 talented finalists. Each finalist was assigned a mentor from within the industry for support and advice before taking their places in the National Final.

During the National Finals, the young chefs had just 2 hours and 45 minutes to prepare and present a main course and dessert in the professional kitchens in WestKing’s Victoria Centre. The panel of judges was led by Michelin-starred chef Adam Handling and included an array of top chefs such as Chantelle Nicholson, Graeme Cheevers and Kerth Gumbs.

WestKing hosts Springboard FutureChef Awards

After a tough competition, the overall winner was announced. Reese Ventura, a 15-year-old student from St Philomena’s Catholic School for Girls in London, took home the title of 2024 Springboard FutureChef Champion. 

Reese’s winning main course was a mushroom-stuffed chicken ballotine with caramelised cauliflower, fondant potato, purple sprouting broccoli, butternut squash and tarragon jus. For her dessert, she presented a deconstructed tiramisu incorporating cannoli, chocolate whipped ganache and coffee jelly. Reese will go on to receive further support, development and apprenticeship opportunities as well as the opportunity to publish her recipes.

Following her win, Reese said: “I can’t believe I made it here. Even yesterday, people were asking me ‘Do you want to be a chef?’ and I didn’t know. But since winning, it’s a sign to go into hospitality, and it will help me in the future.”

Adam Handling, Head Judge and Michelin-starred chef said: “Reese’s attention to detail on every part of her components, in terms of seasoning and execution, was quite wonderful. Everything she did met the brief and beyond.”

WestKing hosts Springboard FutureChef Awards

Springboard FutureChef is a school-based programme supporting the development of key skills and inspiring young people to pursue a career in hospitality. By connecting with teachers, students and industry professionals, the programme aims to support students as they gain culinary skills and knowledge.

The Springboard FutureChef competition has inspired and supported rising stars in the world of Culinary Arts. Former WestKing Apprentice and winner of Masterchef: The Professionals 2023 Tom Hamblet was crowned FutureChef Champion in 2015. 

CCCG’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts is a centre for excellence with strong links to the hospitality industry. If you’re a budding chef considering your next step, take a look at our wide range of Hospitality and Culinary Arts Courses and Apprenticeship and explore our Hospitality Hub, part of the Mayor of London’s Skills Academies.


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