A north-east school pupil is going to one of the world’s most famous horse racing venues after winning a national culinary competition.
Phoebe Lawson will begin her career as a chef at Royal Ascot after winning the Springboard FutureChef contest.
The fourth-year Mackie Academy pupil was successful in local and regional heats before being selected to represent the North of Scotland at a competition in London.
Around 6,000 people aged between 12 and 16 entered the cookery competition.
During the final Phoebe battled it out alongside 11 other finalists for three hours.
She prepared chicken with tarragon-infused tomato, fondant potato, wilted spinach, cauliflower puree and grain mustard sauce.
Phoebe, 15, also made vanilla panna cotta with poached pear, chocolate and hazelnut oil, and bee pollen crumb.
Young chef eyes up future in kitchen
Phoebe thanked her teachers at Mackie Academy for helping her win the title.
She also has an eye on beginning her kitchen career and is currently considering her options.
Phoebe said: “This win means a lot to me. There were months of hard work and it’s amazing it has all paid off.
“I’m really thankful to my teachers and mentors who have been so helpful and supportive throughout the experience.
“I have lots of plans for the future and I’m looking into different apprenticeships across the UK. It is brilliant – this has meant lots of opportunities have come my way to help my future career.”
Phoebe won a trip to Royal Ascot in June with hospitality firm Sodexo, £100 cash, personally embroidered aprons, chef jackets and a skull cap.
She also took home a cookbook, a commemorative plate and £500 for Mackie Academy to spend on new home economics equipment from a host of sponsors.
Teacher praises aspiring chef
Kirsty Wilson, Phoebe’s home economics teacher at Mackie Academy, was also recognised in the competition.
She was praised for being ‘one very proactive teacher’ who ‘always supports the students’.
Ms Wilson hailed Phoebe’s efforts which helped her see off competition from across the UK.
She said: “As a teacher, it is always great to see pupils strive to achieve to the best of their abilities and the Springboard FutureChef competition encourages and allows that to happen.
“Phoebe did a fantastic job. A number of local restaurants and hotels support the competition and it is brilliant for young people to benefit from the support of industry mentors, in Phoebe’s case Chris Macleod from Compass Group.”