CareerScope Blog


FutureChef Programme: Delaware North

FutureChef 2018/2019

Thank you to our amazing chefs that have taken part of FutureChef 2018/2019 and inspired the next generation of chefs. Let us look at the great work they have accomplished in 2019:

Wembley Stadium’s Culinary Team’s relationship with Ark Elvin Academy, in Wembley

Wembley Stadium’s Culinary Team have been in regular contact with Ark Elvin Academy for many years. Throughout the years, some pupils have been doing work experience in the stadium’s kitchen. And the chefs have been doing chef demonstrations on different technical skills. In July 2019, Harry Lomas did a chef demonstration at the Academy on chicken filleting, as well as answered questions to the pupils about becoming a chef.

“Just a quick email to say how grateful we are to you and your team for coming into Ark Elvin and delivering such an engaging session for our pupils. They loved listening to your experiences and enjoyed hearing about what it is to be a chef. Your story about what the Queen has for breakfast was the star of the show for many of our pupils – one pupil was even playing the same guessing game on the field during sports day with his friends. The chicken went down really well, a pupil was telling me that he was going to cook some at the weekend.” Teacher at Ark Elvin Academy

Bruce Beacon’s relationship with Forest Gate Community School, in Stratford

In 2019, I have been in contact with a local school in Stratford, called Forest Gate Community School. The school wanted support from a chef to demonstrate some technical skills to 60 students aged 14 years old. I did four chef demonstrations to show them on how to make lasagne. After each class, I talked about the hospitality industry, Delaware North to inspire them to want to cook, and answered any questions that they might had.

Recently, the school asked me to go back on a regular basis to continue to inspire and demonstrate other technical cooking skills to the students, which I am happy to do so. The school and I are also trying to arrange for the students to come for a tour of the London Stadium. That will give me the opportunity to show them the stadium back of house area, and the fast paced environment that take place during a match or concert day.

Gary Foakes judging and mentoring a FutureChef student


Gary Foakes at The London Stadium supported FutureChef 2018/2019 by judging at Havering College local final, where 8 students from 12 to 16 years old competed. Then, Gary mentored the winning student Ray for a few months to help him prepare for the Regional final and then the National final where Ray took the runner-up position.

Here is what Ray says about his passion for cooking and the support Gary offered him during the competition:
“I've always had a passion for cooking and nice ingredients, I read loads of cooking books and enjoy watching famous chefs make something extraordinary, and then love the feeling I get when I recreate it myself.

Cooking must be in my blood, my Nan worked as a chef, and I've since discovered that my 'Great Great grandfather' and his 4 sons all had their own bakeries, going way back to the first world war.

When I was 11, I spent a day cooking with my cooking hero Raymond Blanc at the Michelin starred Belmond aux Quat’Saisons and haven’t stopped cooking since.

My mentor throughout this competition is my new inspiration and I've really enjoyed working with him, thank you Gary!” Ray Gardner, FutureChef National Finalist.



FutureChef Prize to a National Finalist 


The runner up of the FutureChef Competition 2018/2019 Ray was joined by his father to attend a 2019 Champion League Match at Wembley Stadium. Ray did a work placement in the VIP area before the match, shadowing Head of Culinary Harry Lomas. It was a great opportunity for Ray to see the back of house area and experience the running of the kitchens and operations during a match day, which supported his education further.


FutureChef Programme 2019/2020

Neil Richards and Ellie Nicholson joined the FutureChef Steering Group

To ensure that FutureChef’s evolution is sustainable and fit for purpose, The Springboard Charity needs expert involvement in key development areas and is setting up several Expert Groups to facilitate this. Therefore, Neil Richards, Food Services Director recently joined the FutureChef Chef Engagement expert group. FutureChef has grown to such a scale, that it now needs more chefs than ever to volunteer support in the following roles. This group will be responsible for maximising chef engagement in the following roles, FutureChef Champions, Competition Mentors, Competition Judges, FutureChef “Demo” Chefs and Resources Chefs.

In addition, Ellie Nicholson, Variable Workforce Recruitment Manager joined the FutureChef Talent Pipeline expert group. FutureChef programme presents a significant pool of potential candidates for college programmes, apprenticeship or other trainee chef opportunities. The role of the FutureChef Talent Pipeline Expert Group is to identify ways to capitalise on this recruitment opportunity.

FutureChef ’s plan for 2020 


In 2020 Delaware North will continue and develop its work with FutureChef, with the Chefs engaging with their local schools. They will offer mentoring for FutureChef participants, whilst also holding “look and learn” skills demonstrations in schools for wider participation. Delaware North and Springboard are working together to collaborate each culinary team with a local school to start building even more great relationships with our local communities.


FutureChef Prize – Choice of a Wasps Rugby or Arsenal Football Match 

The prize for the runner-up of the FutureChef National Final is to attend a premier league match in Football or Rugby with three guests – hosted at either the Ricoh Arena, home to Wasps Rugby, or at the Emirates Stadium home to Arsenal FC. The student will do a work experience in the VIP area before the match, shadowing the Executive Head Chef of the Stadium. The prize also includes seeing the back of house area of the Stadium before joining the winner’s guests for the match itself.

Ambassador Activities: Aaliyah Bailey from Head Office

Her top 3 events this year are:

My number one moment of this year as a Springboard ambassador was the CV and Interview skills workshop we took part in at Kingston College. The staff at the college were very hospitable which was a bonus to the overall experience, but essentially, this was super rewarding as we sat down and engaged with each student on a one to one basis, giving them tips and advice on their CV and interview skills. Throughout the day it became evident that they were taking the feedback on board and were very appreciative of the time we had spent with them. It was also very nice to see the great amount of students who have a budding interest for working in the hospitality industry. 

Kingston College Photo

Second on my list would be the talk I attended at the Royal Society for Public Health on the mental wellbeing of the hospitality workforce. This was a reality check which shed light on the pressures people working within the hospitality industry may face, with lots of research. I think addressing such issues is vital, because if we are aware of such problems, then preventative measures can be put in place to combat these issues- making the industry more attractive to those wanting to have a career in it and more enjoyable for those who currently work within the sector. 

ServiceWithoutASmile EventBritelImage 2160x1080 TC 090419


Number three would be the Springboard Ambassador conference at Coin Street. This was useful as I was able to network with individuals from other companies who also work on behalf of Springboard and learn more about tasks they have been involved in; equally, we were able to share information on the many activities we as Delaware North had been a part of.

Alison Gray speaking at FLIGHT (Future Leaders in Hospitality and Tourism)


In June this year, I represented Delaware North at the 2-day FLIGHT, Future Leaders in Hospitality and Tourism Conference, I was asked to judge and speak about work experience, the importance of it in helping to shape young people’s views and options of our industry, and to highlight the great work our HR and field teams do in welcoming individuals onto placement programmes at Delaware North.

We are very proud to hold the INSPIRE accreditation at Delaware North: INSPIRE is the hospitality industry’s Quality Assurance for Work Experience, it ensures consistent delivery of quality work experience. As we work with our wider organisation to evolve the Attract & Hire Strategy within the global re-engineering of the Talent Acquisition model, our Emerging Talent department has been supporting us this year to ‘future-scope’ on how we can increasingly design placements, support both managers and students to gain the most from the work experience.

At FLIGHT, I talked about how to create the “magic” during a work experience: it is a 3-way relationship, between the employer, the educational establishment and the intern. It composed of a framework, agreement on how this will work for each parties and creating a successful intern experience, that includes elements around Culture and Community, Vision and Values, Being “Looked after” and a Career Development plan.

FLIGHT Delaware North Presentation June 2019 v3 Page 2

It is also important to measure the progress for continuous improvement by doing exit surveys from work experience interns, gathering feedback from placement partners, and compiling conversion, progression and application rates.

In Summary, I felt very proud to talk at the FLIGHT conference on this subject. My audience consisted of students, employers and educational leaders, all with a common goal of seeking better understanding on how we can develop a symbiotic relationship to ‘inspire’ young people to join this wonderful world we live in. As an Ambassador for Springboard and Delaware North, I am looking forward to opportunities in 2020 to share this message broader and wider, to highlight Delaware North: who we are and what a career with us can look like.