A GLASGOW teenager is taking the heat in the kitchen as she competes to be Britain's best young chef.

Courtney McDowell, a pupil at Rosshall Academy while also enrolled on the Professional Hospitality course at City of Glasgow College, has won the South of Scotland heat of Springboard Future Chef 2016

The 16-year-old will now attend the final of the competition, judged by industry and celebrity chefs, at Westminster Kingsway College in London.

Following the heat, hosted by City of Glasgow College, all competitors and their families attended a gala dinner at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

When she was announced as the winner during a subsequent presentation, Courtney, who attended with her mum, was overcome with emotion.

Courtney, from Pollok, said: “I didn’t think I would win, as there were some dishes made by other people that were out of this world. When they said my name, I was crying and everything - I couldn’t believe it.

“I hadn’t been able to practise making my dishes too many times because I’d been on holiday and I am very busy at school with prelims.

"In the morning, I had a run-through of my main course with my lecturer Andy Cummings, then, after lunch, I was introduced to the judges and started cooking.”

Courtney’s creation of grilled seabass with parmesan rice, spinach and smoked haddock, complemented by parmesan crisps, salsa verde and cherry tomatoes, tantalised the taste buds of the judges. And a dessert of warm peanut butter and jam frangipane tart with cream sorbet tipped her to success.

Finalists cook a two-course meal for three people with a basket of ingredients presented to them on the day.

Competitors, as well as their parents and mentors, are invited to London the evening before, where they enjoy dinner at The Hyatt Regency London and overnight accommodation.

Courtney added: “I can’t wait for the final now, although I have a lot of work to do before then. I’m at City of Glasgow College three days a week and school the other two days, and I have exams coming up.

“At the end of the day, I want to be a chef, so I’m very committed to succeeding in this competition and on my course at City of Glasgow College.

"One day, I would love to be a head chef in my own restaurant in the heart of Glasgow.”