Lurgan girl Annabelle Spence has reached the final of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu London’s UK Scholarship Award 2016.
She is one of just 14 finalists vying for the top prize on June 2.
Over the last month the team at Le Cordon Bleu London have been running the semi final stages of their 5th UK scholarship Award, and it aims to tackle the shortage of chefs in the industry.
Mark Greenaway was the top chef meeting finalists in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Candidates were judged on their passion for pâtisserie by a panel made up of Le Cordon Bleu Master Chefs alongside the partnering chef in each location.
With just 14 candidates remaining in the competition, Annabelle has a tough challenge in front of her.
Indeed there was a record number of applications from people of all ages and backgrounds hoping to be considered for the prize of a lifetime.
Worth over £35,000 the award will offer the one lucky winner a place on the coveted Diplôme de Pâtisserie followed by a three month Diploma in Culinary Management.
It includes luxury accommodation in central London courtesy of Urbanest.
Plus there will be an internship with Clare Smyth MBE, at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Hospital Road, Chelsea where Clare has been Head Chef for the past six years and became the first British female chef to hold and retain three Michelin Stars.
The final of the competition will take places on Thursday, June 2, at the prestigious culinary arts, wine and management school, Le Cordon Bleu London.
Annabelle is thrilled to have got this far.
Commenting on her success in reaching the finals, she said: “I am overwhelmed to have made it to the semi-final.
“I thought my chances were small due to my limited culinary experience so I am thrilled to have been successful,” she said.
And she has exciting plans for the future.
“My career aspirations centre on the wedding industry as I believe there is a realistic opportunity to be the provider of high quality cakes and patisserie for these events,” said Annabelle.
“I want to develop my own independent business and provide further employment opportunities for others under my leadership.”