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Henderson Foodservice extends congratulations to NI winner of national FutureChef competition

Posted By:
Henderson Wholesale Ltd

15th Mar 2023

Henderson Foodservice, a leading supplier to the hospitality industry across the island of Ireland, and Northern Ireland sponsor of the prestigious Springboard FutureChef competition, has extended their congratulations to the overall UK winner, Kristen Nugent from St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley.

Business Development Chef, Geoff Baird oversaw dozens of young hopefuls’ cooking skills during this year’s NI heats, which Kristen won in January 2023 and says he hopes the future of hospitality recruitment is in good hands with the ambitious young folk he has been working with in recent months.

Geoff commented; “When we were judging the heats in Northern Ireland, we knew we had someone special on our hands with Kristen. Not only had she been a very worthy runner up in the 2021/22 competition, but she had come back fighting for the 2022/23 competition with some incredibly inventive flavours and ideas up her sleeve, all while working with and appreciating the local ingredients available to her in Northern Ireland.

“We are absolutely thrilled for her to have taken the overall Springboard FutureChef title, coming out on top of all those young cooks from across the UK regions.

“We’ve seen from our previous Springboard FutureChef winners that a career in hospitality can be achieved, our NI final winner from last year, Michael Thompson, is already working in the kitchen of his local restaurant and we’re thrilled that Kristen has those same ambitions.

“Recruitment is still a significant challenge within the industry and we can’t let it threaten the vibrant offering we have here in Northern Ireland.”

Henderson Foodservice supplies to hundreds of bars, restaurants and hotels, providing locally sourced produce and solutions to help them provide unique offerings for customers.

Geoff continued; “Programmes like Springboard’s FutureChef enable us to keep the younger generation excited about the sector, and see it as a credible, exciting and ambitious career path. We don’t want them to see the challenges as a barrier to their cooking or management ambitions, as we need their creativity and energy, alongside the skills which each participant has shown and learnt throughout this entire competition.”