Vocational Learning Manager, North East region
Babcock International Group
I first became involved with the FutureChef competition when I was asked to participate as a judge at the Newcastle Regional Final in late 2014 and following on from this I also acted as a judge in the Middlesbrough Regional Final in early 2015.
As a result of attending these two events I have now become more involved as a mentor. I now work alongside one of the entrants, in conjunction with their school, to develop their dish and menu ideas as they prepare for the next stage of the competition.
My first visit as a mentor was more by way of an introduction – it was a great opportunity to speak to the young person I was going to be working with and their teacher, to explore and discuss ideas on how they could take their dish and menu forward.
Since this initial visit I have carried out two further visits where I have worked on a 1-2-1 basis to develop their dish and techniques.
I have found a major contributory factor to how well it has gone so far is down to the amount of co-operation and involvement I have received from the school. I have since built up a very effective relationship and have even been invited along to the school as guest judge to be involved in the School Cake Off.
I have found working with and alongside the school and the FutureChef entrant to be very rewarding and would highly recommend anyone given the opportunity to get involved to do so.
To be able to pass on my knowledge, experience and advice to someone who is only in Year 8 and for them to be so attentive, keen and willing to learn is very satisfying and full filling.