Five FutureChef Alumni supported Springboard’s fundraising event and helped to raise £23,000 for FutureChef, Springboard’s school cooking initiative designed to tackle the chronic chef skill shortage.
Springboard’s ‘FutureChef Banquet on Bateaux’ was generously hosted by Sodexo Prestige on Bateaux London, where guests experienced a cruise on the Thames and enjoyed an exceptional four course banquet devised by professional chefs and FutureChef Alumni, served by Westminster Kingsway College students.
FutureChef Chairman, Brian Turner CBE, was Master of Ceremonies while top chefs Allan Pickett (Piquet Restaurant), Daniel Galmiche (Norwegian Seafood Council), Steve Munkley (Royal Garden Hotel) and Graham Hornigold (HKK Restaurant) partnered up with FutureChef Alumni Lucy Wigmore, Eden Allsworth, Ashleigh Hellowell, Bronwen Jenkins and Tom Hamblet.
Despite the prevalence of high profile chefs on TV and social media, the industry’s biggest skills shortage is in the kitchen. The industry continues to grow and there is demand for young apprentices – Springboard’s FutureChef provides a promising solution.
Now in its 17th year, FutureChef teaches 12-16 year olds about food, inspires them to learn to cook and links them to professional chefs to develop their talent. It is a proven pipeline of talent into the industry – not least for the FutureChef Alumni displaying their passion and skills at this event.
David Mulcahy, Sodexo’s Craft and Food Development Director, said “Sodexo is proud to be a sponsor of FutureChef. We have seen so many young people develop into talented chefs and develop their careers who would otherwise never have learned to cook. There are so many opportunities for talented, hardworking young individuals and FutureChef provides a perfect entry route, equipping young people with the skills and experience they need.”
Springboard’s FutureChef offers an array of resources and activities embedded within the school curriculum. FutureChef involves professional chefs who play their part as talent scouts and help deliver aspects of the programme through demonstrations and interactive sessions. It encourages the next generation of young chefs and involves a national competition where one talented participant is crowned Springboard’s FutureChef winner.
Springboard Chief Executive, Anne Pierce said “FutureChef is playing a vital part in solving tomorrow’s skills shortage challenge today. It relies on incredible support from professional chefs and colleges and needs on-going investment to achieve its ambitions. Springboard is immensely grateful to Sodexo for their on-going support and to all the other investors, including The Worshipful Company of Cooks and The Savoy Educational Trust, as well as other sponsors. But we need more support from chefs throughout the country to become mentors, tutors and judges. Every penny of the funds from Banquet on Bateaux will go directly to FutureChef and encourage more young people into hospitality. The ongoing support of the hospitality industry is vital in order to address the skills shortage it faces.”