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FutureChef Local Finals come to University College Birmingham
Fostering a pasion for cooking
Now in its 11th year, FutureChef’s chairman is Brian Turner CBE who presides over this national completion where youngsters amaze us with their cooking prowess. There are four stages, the first being the school heat from which one person is put forward to the Local Final and that’s where I come in. I look after 3 regions with West Midlands being the most prolific with six Local Finals in the area.
Being a charity, we are grateful that catering colleges host all the finals and in Birmingham that means enjoying the hospitality of one of the best; University College Birmingham.
Here the five local finalists competed for a place in the prestigious Regional Final under the watchful eye of three judges headed up by David Colcombe of Birmingham’s restaurant success story, Opus.
The five finalists were Leanne Thomson (Dame Elizabeth Cadbury Technology College), Rhys Carter (Hodge Hill Sports & Enterprise College), Jamie Fisher (Bristnall Hall Technology College), Sidrah Zahid (Small Heath School) and Thomas Smith (Wheelers Lane Technology College)
Thomas amazed us all by turning up on his own without a parent or teacher! We learn he is super confident as the UCB is his second home; he attends the Junior Chefs’ Academy here.
Runner up is Jamie Fisher and the winner, Sidrah Zahid is now going to be mentored by one of the judges, Phil High, Chef Lecturer at the UCB who is ‘blown away’ by her cooking skills.
In other areas we’ve seen a student being followed by Channel Fours ‘Child Genius’ programme and one that was so cool he was practically wearing a smoking jacket and slippers! It turns out his older brother is a chef so he’s had excellent grounding already at aged 15 and Luke certainly wants to following in elder sibling’s footsteps