Long-standing Country Range student chef challenge returns

The search is underway to find the UK’s top young culinary trio after the launch of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2016-17, run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual Country Range Student Chef Challenge has become a key platform for full-time hospitality and catering college students looking to showcase their culinary prowess and creativity, while developing catering skills and experience under intense pressure situations.

In an on-trend theme for the 2016-17 challenge, each team of three students will be tasked with creating, preparing and cooking a three-course, three-cover menu around the theme Healthy Gourmet Fine Dining. The menu must include:

  • A vegetarian starter containing at least one super grain, such as amaranth, chia seeds, freekeh or quinoa;
  • A main course that can contain meat or fish, but must be centred around imaginative healthy cooking techniques;
  • A dessert that should contain fruit where possible and refrain from containing too much butter and cream.

Registration for the competition is now open, and chef lecturers from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are invited to register their interest via this link to receive an entry pack.

Chef lecturers will be required to enter their team(s) by submitting a completed entry form, which includes details of their three-course, three-cover menu, the ingredients and methodology used for each course and the associated costs of each element, which must total a maximum of £8 per cover. Deadline for registration closes on 28 November.

The menus will then be judged, with the winning teams selected to compete in regional heats at the end of January 2017, before the successful teams make it through to the live final, which will take place on 15 March in the Live Theatre of ScotHot – Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show.

In addition to taking home the title, the victorious team will also win the opportunity to work with the Guild’s culinary team in catering for over 1,000 guests at the Craft Guild of Chefs Annual Awards 2017.

The Country Range Student Challenge 2015-16 winning team came from Loughborough College. Daniella Bromley, Emily Bucknall and Rebecca Brooks are heading to Germany on a work experience trip in October to compete alongside the Craft Guild of Chefs’ culinary team at the Culinary Olympics.

Coral Rose, managing director of Country Range Group, said: “We are delighted to support this well-respected culinary competition and are honoured to champion the chefs of the future.

“It is important that students are given the opportunity to showcase their skills within the industry. The Student Chef competition not only does this but throughout the course of the competition provides further support and development of their talent. We are excited to be working with the colleges, students and the Craft Guild of Chefs to build an even greater event in 2016-17.”


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