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Everton’s star of the future

head chef Gareth Billington collecting award on behalf of Anna
A talented young chef at one of the sporting world’s most famous stadia has been earmarked as ‘one to watch’ by some of hospitality’s biggest names. Anna Carmichael, from Liverpool, was just 15 when she approached the team at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, at Everton’s Goodison Park ground, to practise her kitchen skills in the run up to a major cookery competition.

Now, the 16-year-old, who went on to beat 8500 entrants and win the national Springboard FutureChef final in 2014, has won the Star of the Future category at The Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards 2015.

The awards celebrate the hard work and dedication that make stadia events and hospitality run seamlessly and the winners were announced at a gala dinner at the King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City Football Club.

Following her win, Anna, who now runs the ‘sauce’ section in a 210-cover lounge on match days at the stadium, said: “I’m overjoyed. The Star of the Future winner is picked by a panel of award sponsors and the Stadium Experience Awards committee and the standard of entries was really high so I’m just so pleased to have won.”

Unfortunately, Anna couldn’t attend the awards as she is sitting her GCSE exams, but the venue’s executive head chef Gareth Billington collected it on her behalf.

Jacqui Boyle, area sales manager for Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events at the stadium, said: “It’s been perfectly clear to us for some time now that Anna is destined for great things.

 “When she joined our team properly, on her 16th birthday, she became the youngest member of our kitchen brigade and, since then, she has gone on to impress chefs from three rosettes and even Michelin-starred establishments.

“She has completed so much in so little time – we are incredibly proud of her.”

Among Sodexo Prestige’s other successes on the night were a hat trick of awards for the team at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s Amex stadium and a win at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, which won the Operations Team of the Year award.

Scotland’s national football stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow, also picked up prizes, coming second in the Large Stadia Category of the prestigious Matchday Hospitality Award and voted third overall in a list of 55 UK football and ruby stadia.

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