A 14-YEAR-old chef from South Bromsgrove High School has won the regional final of the Springboard FutureChef competition for 2014.

Carl Risdale impressed the judges with a menu of supreme of chicken on a bed of wilted spinach, fondant potatoes, Beurre Blanc and sauce vierge followed by reverse chocolate crumble with orange caramel sauce, earning himself a place in the national finals.

Youngsters had to make their way through regional heats to get to the regional final of the competition, which was held at University College Birmingham, and Carl will now go on to represent the West Midlands in a national final on March 24 in London.

He said: “This is a dream come true, I’ve always wanted to be a chef.”

Head Judge, Jim Eaves, chairman of the British Culinary Federation, added: “Carl produced a good range of flavours on the day and showed technical ability beyond his age.”

The Springboard FutureChef programme has been running for 14 years and is a nationwide culinary initiative, created to encourage young people aged 12 to 16 to cook by completing a series of culinary challenges, designed to teach life lessons and provide an insight into the hospitality industry.

Springboard’s programmes manager, Balihar Singh, said: “The Springboard FutureChef Competition is the UK’s biggest cooking challenge. It inspires students to learn to cook, introduces them and their schools to well respected industry chefs, offers the opportunity to win fantastic prizes and ultimately they gain anything from a valuable life skill, to an informed career path into the UK’s leisure and hospitality industry.”