FutureChef Scottish finalist gets some kitchen action at The Open

Pictured (from left) are Stephen Frost, executive development chef at Sodexo with FutureChef finalist Erin Anderson and Graham Box, Sodexo managing director for Scotland.
Pictured (from left) are Stephen Frost, executive development chef at Sodexo with FutureChef finalist Erin Anderson and Graham Box, Sodexo managing director for Scotland.

A Mintlaw Academy pupil was given the chance of a lifetime to put her culinary skills to the test at this year's Open at Carnoustie.

Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events invited North of Scotland Winner and National Finalist of the Springboard, FutureChef competition to join the team of 110 chefs for a day at The Open.

Regional winner, Erin Anderson aged 14, was given the chance to put her skills to the test in a live hospitality environment, catering for 700 guests daily during the championship.

On Friday, July 20, Erin rolled up her sleeves and worked in the kitchens at The Open alongside the rest of the Sodexo team to deliver a three-course lunch to 350 guests in the prestigious, Claret Jug hospitality area.

Erin was given a few different stations for the morning, working with sous chefs to help prepare the various dishes across the day making up a sumptuous lunch menu that showcased the best of Scotland’s seasonal and local produce:

Starters - Salmon gravlax, apple salad with crème fraiche, dill and soft herbs, grapefruit dressing; Soy and sorrel set with charred vegetable salad, ruby red chard, shallot and cold pressed rapeseed dressing

Main courses - Scottish Beef fillet, mini steak pie, watercress puree, roast potatoes, baby vegetables, horseradish jus; Fillet of sea bass with cauliflower puree, seared scallop, slow roasted crispy pork, sauté mushrooms, pea tendrils, red wine reduction; Soy roasted aubergine with wild rice, king oyster mushroom in seaweed butter, bok choi leaf, roasted daikon in rice wine dressing

Desserts - Daiquiri sphere, dark chocolate cookie streusel, basil and strawberry salad; Smoked chocolate and whisky tart, aerated sponge, coco texture and thick Scottish cream; Citrus sable with lemon ice cream, citrus curd and a lemon crisp

Erin had competed against over 5,000 other Scottish entrants in the FutureChef competition and got down to the last two before heading down to London for the UK final. She received coaching from established chefs in the industry, with top tips and advice from Bill Innes and Ian Monday, Sodexo chefs based at St Fergus Gas Terminal who supported her ahead of the UK finals.

Stephen Frost, executive development chef at Sodexo said: “We have been long -term supporters of the FutureChef competition and each year we see some incredible talent coming through. We want to make sure is nurtured and that by the time these individuals leave school, they are still passionate about the hospitality industry and want to progress their career in this area.

“It has been extremely rewarding watching Erin skills blossom over the past few months. She has been on an incredible journey and as part of the “Year of Young People”, we wanted to give her the opportunity to see what it’s like to be part of a team, working together to create a diverse food experience for thousands of spectators at one of the UK’s biggest sporting events.”

Amanda McDade, Scotland careers & education manager with the Springboard Charity, added: “We are delighted to be working with Sodexo and The R&A on this exciting, interactive learning experience as part of the Year of Young People. Erin has been given the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, with some of Scotland’s top chefs at such and exciting and prestigious international event. Opportunities like this one are a fantastic way to raise the profile of an exciting and varied industry with real job prospects. Bringing together future potential recruits with Industry employers”