FUTURE FOOD STARS: MEET THE 12 CONTENDERS IN NEW BBC COMPETITION SERIES WITH GORDON RAMSAY
Gordon Ramsay is a Michelin starred chef and CEO of a global business empire. Now, he’s on the hunt for the UK’s most exciting and innovative new food and drink business and looking for the next generation ‘Food Star’ to invest in.
Gordon’s always been at the cutting edge of his industry and has hand-picked 12 of the UK’s best up-and-coming food and drink entrepreneurs, to compete to earn his investment – a whopping £150,000 of his own cash.
But to win Gordon’s support will take more than just a great idea – the contenders will need to prove they possess the raw ingredients required to succeed – determination, dedication, passion and talent.
Gordon will drive the contenders through a series of relentless challenges designed to test their character and showcase their business skills because, according to Gordon, an idea is only as good as the person who’s had it.
Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars is coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Meet the twelve contenders below.
Meet the contenders:
Amit, 38 from Malvern Hills, Worcestershire
Amit is a chef and pub/restaurant owner who has developed a range of small-batch authentic Indian sauces using the family recipes. He has developed three simmering sauces and a hot sauce and used his Art and Design skills to give his bottles a fresh modern branding.
Asher, 28 from The Rhondda Valley
PR graduate Asher saw his mum making and selling home-made jams at local markets and decided he wanted to make his own to appeal to a younger market. Four years ago he launched his own business and started experimenting with unusual flavours at home and took them to local food fairs and markets to sell. His range includes Negroni Marmalade, Espresso Martini Marmalade, Strawberry and Tonka Bean Jam, Bravado Chilli Pepper Jam.
Bola, 46 from Hertfordshire
Health coach and 50’s enthusiast Bola was inspired after swapping fizzy drinks for a tonic she made with apple cider vinegar blended with fruit juices and sparkling water. She developed three flavours: Lemonade Swing, Orange Jive and Berry, each bottle or can only 40 calories. Bola launched at speciality fairs in 2019, winning two start-up or innovation awards.
Jamie, 36 from Macclesfield
Jamie is an ex-Navy head chef who decide to take his cooking skills and open his own business showcasing his favourite ingredients: mussels. Wanting to show how diverse mussel-based dishes can be whilst promoting sustainable seafood consumption he put his savings into a permanent stall at a local market. He began selling innovative dishes, such as popcorn mussels, mussel burgers and is even developing a mussel stout.
Jen, 35 from Castleford
Cocktail lover Jen decided to start her own bottled cocktail business after realising it could prove very expensive trying to make your own cocktails at home. She has brought out a range of fresh new cocktail flavours and is determined to take them to the next level by selling kegs of her cocktails to premium bars. She only uses real fruit and purees, so they are naturally low in sugar. Flavours include rhubarb vodka, rum with mango and ginger, passionfruit martini, gin and elderflower.
Leah, 38 from London
Leah wanted to create cakes for people with allergies or dietary requirements. Cupcakes and cookies had already been done, but she saw a gap in the market at that time for homemade dairy-free, gluten-free brownies. She set up her own business and started making cookie sandwiches with a brownie in the middle and brownie donuts and sells across London.
Matthew, 33 from London
Matthew lives and breathes hospitality and feels now is the time to go it alone and open his first place with a zero-waste ethos and a social enterprise ambition. He wants to attract customers who care about giving back to the community.
Michelle, 45 from Abernethy (Perthshire)
After helping her son run a stall at the school fair, Michelle was persuaded to go into business and sell her clootie dumplings. The large product range includes flavours such as Rhubarb and Ginger, Chocolate Orange and Irish cream liqueur, Damson Plum and Gin, and Strawberry and Prosecco, with new flavour combinations ever evolving.
Steph, 30 from Manchester
Steph is a former Navy Lieutenant who has retired after 12 years as a Warfare Officer to pursue her business dream. She was inspired by a sour alcoholic drink she loved when stationed in Japan and decided to create her own soft version to market to gamers and the premium drinks market.
Valentina, 37 from London
Famed for her vegan cakes, Valentina researched the vegan cake mix market and realised there was huge opportunity. She developed three mixes: vanilla cupcakes, banana bread and brownies. The cake mixes are inexpensive and easy to make (just add water, oil or/and plant-based milk). Valentina’s vision is to make tasty vegan food an accessible option for everyone.
Victoria, 28 from London
Victoria is a graduate of a business school in London. She has always wanted to forge her own path in life and be her own boss. As part of her business degree, she launched a range of healthy snacks, inspired by her mum’s plantain crisps. She has now expanded the range into other naturally vegan snacks. She has launched in a major high-end department store, won awards, and is hoping to get her new range into one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK.
Vincenzo, 27 from London
After a job working for a smoked salmon producer, Vincenzo saw their smoked salmon process and thought he could improve it, so wrote a business plan and pitched himself as a superior supplier and launched his business in 2019. His brand is sustainable, artisan, smoked (using only smoke and salt), hand sliced smoked salmon in fully compostable packaging.