Cassius has the recipe to become a FutureChef

Cassius Clapton In the Futurechef competition at NWRC.
Cassius Clapton In the Futurechef competition at NWRC.

A student from St Mary’s High School in Limavady has won the North West heat of the Springboard FutureChef competition, hosted at the Flying Clipper restaurant at North West Regional College.

Cassius Clapton impressed judges, Leyonia Davey, Curriculum Manager of Hospitality and Catering at North West Regional College, and Paul Sharkey, Bishop’s Gate Hotel, with his two course meal of Chicken with Stuffed Mushrooms, Baby Carrots and Asparagus served with Mushroom Sauce, and a dessert of Chocolate Fondant, Chocolate Crumble and Hazelnut Praline.

The runners-up prizes were awarded to Andre Smith and Adam Eccles of Limavady High School for their menus which included: Mexican Baked Eggs with Boiled Rice and a dessert of Biscoff Cheesecake, and Sweet Chilli Chicken with Boiled Rice and Victoria Sponge Swiss Roll.

During the event the competitors showcased their fantastic cooking, budgeting and time management skills.

Alice Quinn, Springboard Northern Ireland Project Team congratulated North West local finalists. She said: “Along with the judges today I have been hugely impressed with the standard of preparation and culinary skills shown by these students. “The Springboard FutureChef competition is an incredible opportunity for young people to showcase their abilities. It also gives them an opportunity to work in professional kitchens in the hospitality industry gaining valuable life skills. I wish Cassius the very best as he progresses to the NI Final of Futurechef 2020 and I would encourage schools to participate in all of the support available through Futurechef.

“Finally, I would also encourage the other participating students to continue working on their culinary skills, their ability was to be highly commended.”

Leyonia Davey, Curriculum Manager at NWRC, said: ““On behalf of the Hospitality and Catering Team at NWRC I would like to offer my congratulations to the winner and runners up.

“The three competitors have prepared well in advance of the competition and have worked professionally to prepare their dishes to a high standard, while being timed. I have no doubt that they all have exciting careers ahead of them in the Food Industry, which continues to grow in Northern Ireland offering amazing opportunities for young chefs.”

FutureChef assists young people who are aged between 12 and 16 to learn the vital life skills of cooking and understanding nutrition, as well as providing invaluable insight into and inspiration for building a career within the hospitality industry.

Cassius will now progress to the regional final which is due to be held at Belfast Met on January 20. The winner from this final represents Northern Ireland in March at Westminster Kingsway College in London. NWRC offers a number of full and part time courses in Hospitality and Catering. The college is also currently offering a number of short part time courses beginning in January including Food Safety, Food Allergen Awareness, Chocolate Skills and Sugarcraft Flowers and Cake Design.