An evening of fine dining at Springboard’s FutureChef event

On Thursday, Pawel and Elisol from our Edinburgh team enjoyed an evening of wining, dining and socialising at the beautiful Prestonfield House for the Springboard’s annual FutureChef event. The team had such a lovely time, we thought we’d let you in on some of our insights on the event.  

What is Springboard’s FutureChef?

Springboard is a charity which aims at nurturing unemployed people into work and helps young people to achieve their potential. As part of the charity, they run a programme called FutureChef. FutureChef was founded in 1999 as a way of inspiring young people to become chefs. To its founders, it had become clear that many youths regarded famous chefs as highly as their favourite pop stars. However, few considered becoming a chef a genuine career path. FutureChef has developed from a four-stage competition into a year-long programme, which encourages 12 to 16-year-olds to cook through classroom activities, industry skills challenges, competitions and awards.

Elisol and Pawel’s insights on the event

From our point of view, it was an amazing night. Held in the old stables room at the Prestonfield, around 160 people were in attendance including charity embassadors, owners and executives. The food was a carnival of flavours we had never tasted before, having the pleasure of being cooked for by 15 year old Jessica Mitchell - winner of FutureChef National Competition 2019, and the first Scottish person to win it.

During the night we had the chance to sit, eat and chat to some well-known industry professionals, such as Joe Queen - Exec Chef, Archerfield; Kevin MacGillivray - Exec Chef, Culzean Castle National Trust and Willie McCurrach - Former Head of School for Food, Hospitality and Tourism, Glasgow College. We spent time talking about the current state of the industry, shortages, politics economy and inevitably, football – with one member of our table keeping tabs on the Rangers vs Celtic game throughout the evening.

Not only did we have the opportunity to enjoy the company of some incredibly interesting individuals, we were moved by the motivational speeches. Geoffrey Smeddle - Proprietor at The Peat Inn shared four myths he had to fight against during his career - one being the connotation that the hospitality industry is “low skilled”. His speech was extremely well received and very emotional, receiving a standing ovation at the end and a few flowing tears.

To finish off the evening, the auction raised a startling £14,500 to be put into the next FutureChef competiton. We are really happy we had the chance to help raise money to encourage young people into the hospitality industry, and we will definitely be attending next year.