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Young Tottenham chef turns up the heat after winning place in London region finals of FutureChef

PUBLISHED: 06:30 22 January 2014

Tequilla Francis, left, beat three other competitors to represent north London in the regional heat of FutureChef.

Tequilla Francis, left, beat three other competitors to represent north London in the regional heat of FutureChef.

Archant

A budding young chef from Tottenham will be mentored by a top industry professional as she goes on to represent north London in a national competition.

Tequilla Francis hard at work in the kitchen.Tequilla Francis hard at work in the kitchen.

Tequilla Francis, a Year 9 student at Northumberland Park Community School, came first in the local heats of FutureChef last week, judged by Michael Riordan, executive chef at the prestigious Renaissance St Pancras Hotel, and Kevin Banks, head chef at the Financial Times.

Tequilla will now get the opportunity to work alongside Mr Banks in his kitchen at the Financial Times’ head office to refine her dishes for the London final next month.

She impressed both judges with a main course for two people of pan-roasted salmon, crushed minted potatoes, carrot spaghetti and peas a la Francaise, and a dessert of bramley apple meringue tart - all on a budget of £7. Mr Banks said that even his own pastry chef could not have produced a better meringue tart.

Tequilla said: “I wasn’t nervous as I knew that my dishes were good and had practised and practised so that if there was a problem I would have the knowledge of how to solve it.

The winning main meal and dessert by Tequilla Francis, of Northumberland Park Community School.The winning main meal and dessert by Tequilla Francis, of Northumberland Park Community School.

“This is important when you are a chef. I was very pleased when my teacher, who is a chef, said that he could not have done a better pudding!

“During this competition I have developed so many cookery skills; I hope that this will help me win the next round so I can go on to the final and represent Tottenham.”

Her school’s enhanced learning co-ordinator John Liversidge said: “I had very high hopes with Tequilla. She not only possesses great skill but is willing to learn. She is very calm under pressure and thinks on her feet, and importantly is prepared to work hard. All these are essential if Tequilla is to become a chef.”

Following her victory at Barnet and Southgate College, Tequilla will make her way to the University of West London on February 10 for the regional final.

The national competition, open to 12 to 16-year-olds, is run by Springboard to help young people get an insight into the culinary industry and improve a valuable life skill.

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