The Craft Guild of Chefs vice president and lead judge for the Country Range Student Chef Challenge Chris Basten has released his top tips for entering and is running a special Q&A to provide additional support for interested colleges in the buying groups’ programme.
Taking place on the 16th November at 3:30pm, the Q&A session will enable interested lecturers and students to quiz Chris on this year’s theme, the marking criteria and any other creative, practical or logistical considerations.
Run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and vital feedback to the students throughout the process, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge has been a key part of developing culinary talent for over 25 years.
Focusing on the essential core skills and techniques that culinary students are taught in college and carefully designed in line with the NVQ syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques, the Challenge is open to teams of three student chefs studying hospitality or catering courses at college.
To join the Q&A, interested lecturers and students can register and submit their questions here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIofu2hrjktHtEmKs9A4CxQt0HZkEMqdumn
With vast experience in the competition arena, Chris has competed at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in 2002, 2006, 2010 and the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt in 2000, 2004 and 2008, taking silver medals in each event. As Culinary Team Captain in 2007, he led the team that represented England at the Chef Ireland competition in Dublin, returning home with two gold medals.
Basten said: “With the kitchens crying out for more skilled chefs due to huge shortages, the opportunities to progress, grow and succeed in hospitality have never been as great. Previous winners have gone on to work at Michelin-starred restaurants so these competitions can provide a massive career boost. The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is the perfect preparation, testing key skills and creativity, while providing valuable experience of what it’s like to work in a fast-paced, team orientated kitchen.”
“Whether they have already started preparing their menus or are still undecided on whether they can enter, the Q&A is a great opportunity to ask questions about the brief and gain advice on what the judges are looking for and how best to approach the challenge. There’s still loads of time to put submissions together but they must act soon.”