STOURBRIDGE looks set to have some of the top chefs of the future after picking up both first and second place at the recent Springboard FutureChef competition.

The best cooks from across Dudley and Worcestershire aged between 12 and 16 battled it out in the kitchen for a place in the competition’s regional final.

After taking up the challenge to showcase his fantastic cooking skills, 14-year-old Thomas Hindmarsh reigned supreme after impressing the judges with his menu of lime and thyme pork steak, honey-glazed carrots and fondant potato, followed by sticky toffee pudding.

Fellow year 10 pupil at Pedmore Technology College and Community School Ellie Williams took the runner-up spot.

Head judge Craig Miles, of Tugo Food Systems, said: “It has been a pleasure watching the students cook, the standards were very high.

“They are all so young and have great futures ahead of them. The dishes were all full of flavour and I hope the students join the hospitality industry.”

Thomas, who will now be mentored by Mathew Shropshall, of University College Birmingham, ready for the regional final in February, said: “I love cooking and I am looking to go into the Industry.

“I cannot wait for the next round and look forward to working on my dish with my mentor.”

Springboard’s FutureChef competition was developed as the result of research findings into young people’s perception of the industry which revealed they admire higher profile and celebrity chefs, yet, few generally consider a career as a chef.

If Thomas is successful in the regional final, he will make it to the 2016 competition’s national final taking place at Westminster Kingsway College in London on March 14.