Isabella Harten (S4) competed well to finish 4th at the Springboard FutureChef National Final just prior to the Easter break.
Isabella won through to this stage by winning the school heat, the local final and the regional competition in Glasgow earlier in the year to be one of only twelve competitors (and one of two Scots!) taking part in a hotly contested national final at Westminster Kingsway College in London, hosted on the day by celebrity chef and Springboard FutureChef Chairman, Brian Turner CBE.
Mentored by High School Health and Food Technology teacher, Mrs Jen Sellar and Executive Head Chef at Rangers Football Club, Jav Aziz, Isabella was tasked with impressing a panel of twelve judges that featured the great and the good of the cooking world including Head Judge and Culinary Director of Sodexo Uk and Ireland, David Mulcahy, award winning Executive Chef of the Royal Garden Hotel in London, Steve Munkley and familiar faces from the world of TV cookery shows such as former Scottish Young Chef of the Year, Adam Handling, Executive Head Chef of the Michelin starred Northcote restaurant, Lisa Goodwin-Allen and Chef Patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL.
After a hectic morning of cooking, Isabella presented her dishes to the judges - a main course of seared seabass with vegetable hotch potch and sundried tomatoes, and a dessert of mandarin tart, chocolate sorbet and textures of raspberry. The twelve judges were suitably impressed with Isabella's cooking that they awarded her 4th place, an impressive feat given the overall competition started with 9,150 competitors!
Just for reaching the final, Isabella received a multitude of exciting prizes including a commemorative plate and medal, a personally embroidered apron and chef jacket, and the chance to enjoy a hotel/kitchen learning experience with Firmdale Hotels, led by Group Executive Chef Robin Reed and Group Kitchen Trainer Stephanie Carisier.
The Springboard FutureChef competition has not only improved Isabella's cookery skills but also helped develop other skills essential for her future, such as working as part of a team in a busy kitchen environment, planning and organizing her portfoilo of dishes and preparing a plan of work to meet the challenges of the competition. The competition has also seen her work hard with other competitors, well respected chefs and industry officials and has given her the confidence to participate in interviews with celebrities and media organisations to celebrate her success.
Isabella can be seen below with her mentor, Jav Aziz, as well as with her fellow FutureChef Finalists.