February 2017

Katie beats thousands to win place in FutureChef final

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One of UCB’s most talented young chefs has secured her place in the final of the Springboard FutureChef competition.

Sixteen-year-old Katie Cooper, from Northamptonshire, rose to the challenge during the West Midlands regional heat on Saturday (February 4).

She impressed the judges with her winning combination of pan roasted venison with parsnip puree, roasted baby parsnips and parsnip crisps with kale and girolles followed by a chocolate sphere and chocolate espuma with compressed rhubarb and ginger.

Katie is a student on UCB’s prestigious Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Apprenticeship (RACA), which gives young chefs an opportunity to work and learn in some of the UK’s best restaurants, including those with coveted Michelin stars.

Katie’s aim is to open her own restaurant and achieve a Michelin star by the age of 25.

Her first experience of UCB was the Young Chefs’ Academy, which gives pupils in years 10 and 11 an early insight into life at the renowned College of Food.

She said: “After completing the Young Chefs’ Academy I knew I needed to be at UCB. There is nowhere else like this in terms of facilities and lecturers. I love working in Birmingham and see my future here.”

Senior chef lecturer and mentor Tony Wright added: “I am absolutely delighted Katie has won the regional final. We both realise there is a lot of hard work ahead for the national final and extend our thanks to chef lecturers Mat Shropshall and Richard Taylor for their support so far. I know Katie will not let us down as she is more than capable. It’s been a pleasure to work with her.”

The FutureChef competition, which attracts around 8,000 entrants annually, aims to find the nation’s best young chef aged 14 to 16. Competitors have a budget of £10 and just 90 minutes to prepare two portions of a main course and a dessert. 

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