Youngsters from Suffolk New College sizzle their way to regional final of FutureChef competition

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk N

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk New College. Pictured is Joel Ridgway. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Six talented youngsters sizzled and chopped their way through the local final of a nationwide culinary competition.

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk N

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk New College. Pictured is Ashleigh Sheppard. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The contenders, aged between 12 and 16, fought for their place in the regional final of the FutureChef initiative on Monday at Suffolk New College in Ipswich.

FutureChef is a national school cooking programme put together by UK charity Springboard, which helps young, unemployed and disadvantaged people into a career in hospitality, leisure and tourism.

The youngsters were tasked to cook two main dishes and two desserts on a budget of £7, which were then judged by a panel of top chefs.

The two top scoring dishes came from 16-year-old Bronwyn Fox representing Alde Valley School in Leiston, and Ashleigh Sheppard, 14, representing Stour Valley Community School in Sudbury.

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk N

Charity Springboard held a cooking competition called Future Chef for 12 - 16 year olds at Suffolk New College. Pictured is Nadia Colley. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Bronwyn cooked up chicken with tomato pasta followed by a tarragon panna cotta and Ashleigh wowed the judges with her fish and chips and warm chocolate tart.

Judge Alan Paton, head chef at Stoke by Nayland hotel and golf club, said: “It’s great to see so many youngsters showing a passion for the industry and I look forward to seeing the dishes at the regionals.”

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The Suffolk girls will now compete at Bedford College on February 2 against finalists from the East of England to win a place at the national final in March at Westminster Kingsway College in London.