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Award-Winning Trainee Chef with Autism Finds Perfect 'Safe Haven'

Georgia Hutchinson in action and being judged during Major's Chef's Culinary Challenge at Hartlepool College of Further Education. Picture: HCFE
Georgia Hutchinson in action and being judged during Major's Chef's Culinary Challenge at the College in February 

Georgia Hutchinson, a talented trainee chef with autism has found her passion in the kitchen. Despite daily challenges, Georgia has excelled here at Hartlepool College, impressing judges with her culinary skills. Georgia's hard work and dedication have earned her a place in the grand final of Major's Chef's Culinary Challenge, where she will compete in front of around 3,000 spectators at the international ExCel Centre in London on March 20.

Cooking has become Georgia's 'safe' thing, and she feels exhilarated to have reached this stage of the competition. "When I was younger I used to hate having autism. Now I quite like it – it can help me to retain focus because I’d be fuming not to reach the highest standards," says Georgia. Her dish in the North-East qualifier, a cauliflower parsnip puree, pan-fried chicken breast in garlic butter, Hasselback potatoes and roasted cauliflower with a veal and mushroom jus, was judged the best in class, earning her a place in the final.

Georgina with her Winning Certificate
Georgina with her Winning Certificate pictured here with Fergus Martin (Executive Development Chef - Major International)

Georgia's journey at Hartlepool College began four years ago, and she has gained valuable experience working in various roles, including Coffee Rapport, Hidden Tap Bar and Cafe, and Berry's Kitchen. Kevin Dove, the College's hospitality and catering lecturer praises Georgia's commitment and great role model qualities. "Georgia has never let anything hold her back. Georgia has always aimed high," says Kevin.

Georgia's success in the culinary world has left her excited and grateful to those who have supported her. "I will also be forever thankful to the College and Kevin for their help and support, Kev deserves enormous credit for what he does. He is the one who makes me want to do it – a true inspiration," says Georgia. Her journey and success serve as an inspiration to others who face daily challenges but are determined to achieve their dreams.

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