A Lutterworth youngster proved he’s no flash in the pan after cooking up a storm in the regional final of a cooking contest last week.
Lutterworth High School pupil Max Faulkner took the culinary crown during the East Midlands final of the Springboard charity’s FutureChef 2015 competition.
It was held last Thursday at Loughborough College.
The 13-year-old beat nine other finalists from across the region to secure his place in the contest’s national final.
The Lutterworth youngster served up a winning menu of sea bass with potato rosti, samphire and celeriac puree, followed by a lemon tart with raspberries.
Over recent months aspiring young chefs had outshone their peers in two preliminary rounds of the competition, which aims to identify the culinary stars of the future.
Max qualified following his win in the Leicestershire and Rutland final on January 13 at Leicester College after cooking a pheasant, partridge and pigeon main course.
At the East Midlands final, youngsters had to showcase their cooking, budgeting and time-management skills.
On the day Max reigned supreme, impressing the judges with his winning menu, which according to the judges he delivered with ‘the confidence of a professional’.
Head judge Riccardo Corbinzolu, from county catering management firm Wilson Vale, said: “Max wowed us with his calmness in the kitchen, complete focus and highly organised approach to working in such a pressured environment.
“And at the same time, he displayed a real understanding of the techniques to produce great food.
“I’ve worked with professionals who would have been delighted to have produced the results Max did and he really stood out.
“I’m very proud to be part of the Springboard Futurechef initiative and it’s so encouraging to know that there is a new generation of chefs with the talent to succeed in this wonderful industry.”
Springboard’s FutureChef is a nationwide culinary initiative taking place in more than 550 schools nationwide.
Its main goals are to assist young people aged 12 to 16 to learn vital life skills, understand nutrition and provide invaluable insight into and inspiration for building a career within the hospitality industry.
The final is on March 23 at Westminster Kingsway College in London. The national champion stands to win £400 of vouchers, a commemorative plate, a VIP family day out to Royal Ascot and the chance to gain work experience with some top UK chefs.