Ella’s tasty meal triumphs in cooking contest

Chantry Middle School and Technology College pupil Ella Riches won the FutureChef local final at Gateshead College.
Chantry Middle School and Technology College pupil Ella Riches won the FutureChef local final at Gateshead College.

A young master chef from Morpeth has reached the northern final of a national contest, thanks to her top culinary skills.

Ella Riches’ talent for cooking has been displayed at Chantry Middle School and Technology College, where she is a pupil, and she was selected to represent the school at the local stage of Springboard’s FutureChef 2016 competition at Gateshead College.

And the 13-year-old was chosen as the winner after impressing the judges with her menu of chicken supreme, with sprout tops and goose fat-roasted winter roots, and apple, cinnamon and cranberry syllabub macadamia crumble.

She goes through to the northern regional final, which will be held at York College in February.

Head judge David Bittlestone from Compass Group, a food-service and support services organisation, said: “Ella’s dishes stood out.

“She produced a well-balanced main course and dessert and she displayed professionalism throughout.”

FutureChef is a nationwide culinary initiative which helps young people aged between 12 and 16 to cook their way through a series of challenges.

It also provides invaluable lessons and insights into the culinary industry and successful local stage participants receive mentorship.

Ella said: “I am so surprised to have won and I am excited for the northern regional final.”

The contest was developed after research revealed that young people admire celebrity and higher profile chefs, but only a small amount of those surveyed said they would consider a career as a chef.

The national final will take place in London in March.