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Future Chef

FutureChef forms part of Springboard�s high-profile national schools programme. Based on a four stage, nationwide competition, FutureChef is designed to help young people aged 12-16 learn about food and how to cook. It provides a unique insight into the world of professional cookery by capturing imagination, recognising talent and providing a potential platform to launch a fabulous career in the industry. Supported by key industry partners and judged by some of the country�s top chefs, last year�s competition attracted a record 7,087 entrants from 583 schools throughout the UK.

Currently in our ninth year of operation, the programme has given more than 34,000 students a taste of the culinary world at its working best. FutureChef aims to assist even more young people to develop skills and gain direct work experience through links with the programme�s mentor chefs and the industry. It also provides expert advice on the career options and entry routes available within this rapidly expanding industry.


FutureChef�s five principal aims are to:

Develop young people�s understanding of food, culinary skills and key skills
Provide opportunities for practical work experience across all sectors of the industry
Highlight the skills needed to become a chef whilst showing the variety of jobs, careers, and entry routes
Build relationships between industry partners and schools
Raise the profile of cooking in schools whilst supporting the food related curriculum
Who can take part?

The competition is open to all 12-16 year old secondary school pupils resident in the UK. Normally 12-16 year olds would enter via a school but on the occasion where a school would not wish to take part, the individual would need to contact their local Springboard Office. With the growing awareness and popularity of the competition, we fully welcome, and indeed encourage, the re-entry of competitors, and recognise the right to competition entry for any young person that meets the entry criteria.


Everyone who takes part in the FutureChef programme has something to gain. Throughout the four stages of the competition there are a fabulous array of prizes and benefits for all entrants, their family, teachers and schools.

For Schools

Taking part in the FutureChef programme:

Contributes to pupils� learning experiences at Key Stage 3 and the 5-14 curriculum in Scotland
Supports many aspects of food and cooking related courses in Years 10 and 11 (3rd and 4th Year - Scotland)
Provides invaluable mentoring by well-respected chefs in the industry
Helps your school get positive publicity, and has helped schools secure funding to develop food technology and catering departments
Stimulates young people to learn about food, cooking, budgeting and presentation
Provides a taste of what life is like in a professional kitchen and provides invaluable insight into careers
Builds and develops long term links between education and industry
For Students

Taking part in the FutureChef programme:

Provides all competitors with the chance of claiming some fantastic prizes
Presents the chance to work with well-respected and celebrated chefs of the industry
Teaches students invaluable cooking skills, and is a truly great learning experience
Provides a fantastic insight into what it�s like to be a chef and the related career opportunities available in the food and catering industry

FutureChef is a four-stage nationwide culinary competition; helping young people aged 12-16 to learn to cook. It also provides a unique insight into the world of professional cooking by capturing imagination, recognising talent and providing a potential platform to launch a fabulous career.

FutureChef was developed as a result of research findings into young people�s perceptions of the industry. The research revealed that young people regard chefs such as Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes and James Martin almost as highly as pop or television stars. Surprisingly, however, few genuinely considered a career as a chef!

FutureChef addresses these perceptions directly by introducing young people to cooking, helping to develop their skills, developing direct work experience in the industry and providing expert advice on the career options and entry routes available. It provides teachers and young people alike with a wonderful insight into what it�s like to be a chef and the related career opportunities.

This national competition has grown year on year to such an extent that this year it attracted over 7,000 competitors from 583 schools and involved 1,000 chefs � as mentors and judges. It continues to attract the involvement of some of the industry�s leading celebrity chefs � being led by Brian Turner CBE but including Lesley Walters, Michael Caines, John Williams MBE, David Everitt-Matthias, David Pitchford and Peter Gordon, to name but a few.

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