CareerScope Blog


Young Star Chef Podium Takeover July 2018

The Springboard Charity teamed up with sponsor Hilton Manchester Deansgate last week, to put on a Young Star Chef Evening Podium Takeover for one night only, with 17 year-old Ben Ronan from Burnage, Manchester.

Ben, who attends Manchester College, has been working at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate for just three months. He produced a delicious four course meal for friends and family, and invited guests on the evening of Wednesday 25th July 2018 at the Podium Restaurant.

The menu that Ben designed and created consisted of ‘Pressing of Duck’ starter, with black rice and quinoa, hoi sin, air dried ham and petit salad, followed by a fish course of Grilled Fillet of Mackerel, with potato and grain mustard ecrasee, broad beans and cauliflower. The main course showcased “Ben’s Beef” - feather blade of beef, Anna potatoes, carrot puree, chantenay carrots, wilted spinach, Tenderstem broccoli, and jus. The dessert - “Ronan’s Manchester Mess” - was a creation of berries, cream, meringue banana, coconut and raspberry sugar.

During the evening, The Springboard Charity raffle took place, with a fantastic prize afternoon tea for two at the prestigious Cloud 23, at Hilton Manchester Deansgate – courtesy of Hilton Hotels.

Ben said, “I’m thrilled about being given the opportunity to showcase my skills tonight – I’ve been working on the menu for just a month, and I’ve grown in confidence”.

Executive Head Chef and Springboard Ambassador Stuart Duff said, “it is important to raise the profile of young chefs in our industry and give them opportunities to present their skills and abilities. Young Star Chef is a great initiative by Springboard to showcase young culinary talent”.

Programme Manager Joanne Greenall said, “Young Star Chef has made a return to Manchester, and it is now an initiative to work with business partners who would like to showcase the talents of young chefs already working at the business and host a fundraising dinner for the Springboard Charity”.

Young Star Chef is a Springboard Charity initiative, supported by sponsors and business partners to increase awareness of young chef talent in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. The aim of the initiative is to raise the profile of young chefs, and support talent through opportunities to develop, design and create a menu – and takeover the kitchen for one night only.

About The Springboard Charity

Springboard helps to reduce unemployment and poverty across the UK, enabling people of all ages and backgrounds, and especially those who experience barriers to employment, achieve their career potential in hospitality, leisure and tourism.

We do this in several ways:

  • Equipping people with personal, professional and career skills, through first class range of training and education programmes.
  • Connecting those who are ‘work-ready’ with employers across the UK who provide work experience placements and jobs and at the same time helping those employers attract, develop and retain talent.
  • Providing unique career advice and education materials to inform and guide students and adults and their influencers about the industry.
  • Working with employers, Government, employment referral agencies, educational establishments and industry bodies to promote the sector as a great place to work.

For more information about Springboard, click here

Carl Ridsdale – FutureChef Alumni April 2018

So, FutureChef. It’s a massive competition, massive reach and huge numbers of participants (12,000 in 2018)… but where do all these participants go?


Well, today I went to meet one of the West Midlands National Finalists from a few years back to see how he was getting on.

Off I went in my wee car, following the Sat Nav to a village not far from where I live, to be met by Hampton Manor. Hampton Manor is a country estate – a beautiful country estate. I felt like a princess, except for maybe the fact I was driving a Suzuki Swift and not a horse drawn carriage!

Hampton Manor has 1 Michelin star and 4 Rosettes – the first restaurant in Birmingham to have such – and our FutureChef alumnus, Carl, works here.

I am already in awe of this place, and of Carl. He is only 19, and is already working in a place with an amazing reputation and the recommendations to match. But my amazement doesn’t stop here – Carl himself is a truly outstanding young man.

I was taken to the kitchen by a lovely receptionist, to meet Carl, who at the time was making ice cream. Without even batting an eyelid, he was holding a full-blown conversation with me and making ice cream that smelled divine. Oh, and by the way – FutureChef has a habit of ruining programme managers’ diets.

Carl has recently completed his Level 3 Professional Cookery Apprenticeship with UCB, and is now a full time Demi-Chef de Partie – and one with incredible ambition. Carl hopes to travel around Europe, learning key skills from the best in the business. He would like to go to France to learn traditional French cooking methods, to Germany for butchery, to Switzerland to learn chocolatier skills and so on. He does this so that, one day, he can come back to England and start to climb the chef ladder. Eventually, Carl would like to run his own business, and although he’s still unsure of which cuisine style it’ll have, I can guarantee the food would be amazing!

Carl gave me a tour of Hampton Manor, explaining that he had worked both in the banqueting kitchen, and in the restaurant kitchen. This has given him extensive knowledge of the entire manor – which is a restaurant with rooms, not a hotel with a restaurant. The pride oozing out of him when he spoke about the manor was tangible.

We returned to the kitchen, where we continued to discuss his aims and ambitions, what service was like and what his role is and how he will develop at the Hampton Manor. During this time, Carl was tempering chocolate – making it look incredibly easy – but with my habit of burning beans, I think I will leave it to him. The chocolate would be used for the little mouthfuls of heaven that they serve in their afternoon tea (another way it ruins diets), in a cookie and cream chocolate that genuinely tasted like you were dipping chocolate chip cookies in a glass of milk!

I asked Carl, what he would say to someone thinking about doing FutureChef and his simple response was ‘Do it. I wouldn’t be where I was if it wasn’t for FutureChef. Before the competition I couldn’t fillet a fish, the competition taught me so much and I would not be where I am without it’.

Still contemplating whether FutureChef is the right (free) resource for your school? Don’t ask yourself what have you got to lose – ask yourself ‘what could I gain from taking part in FutureChef?’ The answer? Well, you’ll need to take part to find that out!


Inclusivity: ‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized’

As a person I stand for inclusivity and accessibility, having grown up where I did I saw a lot of people having to climb out of their barriers and push themselves into opportunities that for some, were a given. Personally I am not a judgemental person – I try not to judge a person before I know them as often many, myself included, can put on a front and often really getting to know a person takes longer than one meeting. So why am I harping on about this?

Well recently I attended my first Springboard Social event and it got my wee brain ticking about this topic. In what other business would you find 22 people of all walks of life, different accents and colloquialisms, and job roles varying from the C.E.O to administrator rubbing shoulders dancing the cha cha slide together? Not many I reckon.

But that’s what Springboard is about to me, in our programmes we do not discriminate – we support all people from all walks of life of all ages. If you look at Future Chef we support all schools no matter their status, our Into Work Programmes – yes some are specific to groups of people for example Galvin’s Chance – but if you don’t qualify for that programme you will more than likely qualify for another – Hospitality Futures, Diageo Learning For Life, Inspire Work Experience.

The Springboard Charity’s message is – ‘Making a difference to people’s lives’ and I believe we do this – whether a 13 year old who doesn’t know what they want to do we provide experience, a person with a criminal conviction we provide a supportive, non-judgemental place for them to excel and gain new skills, for an 18 year old just leaving college who just needs a wee hand into industry we offer that hand.

I’ve only worked for Springboard for 6 months and when asked what I do now – I’ve struggled to describe it in just a few words with a concise message but after the team meeting it all came together for me. We are helping people and that is what connects us all from the top to bottom – we have inclusivity built into us, into our work ethic and practice. Not only does it make my job easier to work with likeminded people but to work for a business that has similar principals makes it even easier. So if like us you like to help people – or you think you need supporting please get in touch as I am sure there will be someone or something that can support you.

scotland team

By Andrea Hardy
Programme Manager