A schoolgirl came second out of 8000 entrants to be named one of the best young chefs in the UK.

Courtney McDowell, from Pollok, has since been dishing out VIP treatment backstage at Wembley Arena at London’s Summertime Ball concert.

Former Rosshall Academy pupil Courtney came second in FutureChef, an annual competition run by The Springboard Charity to encourage the next generation of hospitality professionals. 

As part of her prize, the 16-year-old was given the opportunity to work under Wembley Stadium executive head chef Mark Reynolds at the popular concert, which featured performances from Ariana Grande, Little Mix and Will.i.am. 

Courtney, whose aim is to open her own restaurant in Glasgow and is set to return to City of Glasgow College in September to begin a full-time

Professional Cookery course, said: “FutureChef has given me lots of confidence and I have learnt so much. I now have some new skills and have learned about different cooking techniques. 

“I learned how to put dishes and menus together and work under pressure to a deadline. 

“Springboard has started an amazing journey for me.”

It is sponsored by a host of leading industry organisations and employers including Hilton, The Dorchester, Delaware North, BaxterStorey and Marriott.

Willie McCurrach, curriculum head for food at City of Glasgow College, said he was absolutely delighted for Courtney and her mentor, chef lecturer Andy Cumming. 

He said: “To come second out of more than 8000 entrants is an amazing achievement. 

“This is the furthest we have gone in the competition so we are so proud of Courtney and wish her great success in future for her career but also in competitions as hopefully she will now want to compete in more.”

Courtney’s mother, Audrey, added: “When Courtney was offered a place at City of Glasgow College, we were thrilled. 

“She’d only been at City of Glasgow College a couple of months when she entered FutureChef and came first in the regional final at the Grand Central Hotel – I was present and ecstatic when she won. 

“Finishing second in the final has driven Courtney to do better and it has put her on the path to great things.”