Anna Carmichael, a 15-year-old from Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, Liverpool, yesterday held off the challenge of 11 other budding chefs to be named FutureChef 2014.

The finalists had to prepare two restaurant-quality dishes from a selection of fresh ingredients in just two hours at the national final, which was held at Westminster Kingsway College.

Carmichael’s winning menu comprised lamb shoulder, pan-fried lamb, pulled lamb with pistachio and mint crumb, butternut squash, new potatoes, spinach and shallot purée, followed by chocolate and raspberry plate, warm chocolate and raspberry fondant, raspberry syllabub.

The young chefs were taking part in the charity’s annual cooking contest, which was judged by leading industry chefs. The twelve finalists earned their place in the National final by mixing, stirring and chopping their way through local and regional heats held across the country. They were selected from 8,200, 12 – 16 year olds who entered Springboard’s FutureChef competition.

Anne Pierce, chief executive of The Springboard Charity, said:  “Congratulations to all of our hard-working, committed finalists – they have all been part of a great FutureChef.  It really is amazing to see the quality of work by young chefs improve year on year, the talent we see as a result of the Springboard FutureChef initiative is remarkable and Anna Carmichael is a true winner. To bring together Springboard’s network of experienced chefs, FutureChef alumni and our hospitality partners in this way ensures that we as an industry, continue to inspire young talent to learn about food and cooking as well as gaining valuable experience about career opportunities in this great industry.’’

FutureChef Chairman, Brian Turner CBE, said: “It’s been an emotional day and it’s fantastic to see so many dedicated young people with so much talent. Thanks must also go to teachers and mentors who make such a great contribution to the success of the event. FutureChef is a great competition and Anna is a great winner.”