The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is a prestigious culinary competition which has become a firm fixture in the catering industry’s calendar.
The Challenge focuses on the essential core skills and techniques that will test the students’ knowledge of both classical cooking and the more modern methods of the last 25 years. Teams of three full-time hospitality and catering students, from across the UK and Ireland, must work together to create a delicious three course, four cover menu that showcases their skill and understanding of flavours. The team behind the Challenge is committed to working with colleges and lecturers to provide a platform for the next generation of chefs to build and showcase their culinary skills and gain invaluable experience within a well-established competition format.
Working in partnership with The Craft Guild Of Chefs
In 2016 the Country Range brand took over the lead sponsorship of the Student Chef Challenge, the key industry competition ran in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs.
The team behind the Challenge is committed to working with colleges and lecturers to provide a platform for the next generation of chefs to build and showcase their culinary skills and gain invaluable experience within a well-established competition format. Through this commitment Country Range have partnered with the Craft Guild of Chefs.
The 2023 / 2024 Challenge
Following the great success from the 2022 / 2023 Student Chef Challenge, the team behind the competition are proud to announce that the theme for this year’s competition is “Love Local”.
Student Chef Challenge FAQs
Here are some more details about the Challenge.
Established in 1965, the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed into the leading Chefs’ Association in the UK and has many members worldwide. Members come from all aspects of the foodservice and hospitality sectors working in a wide variety of positions from students and trainees to top management. No other association boasts such a broad and experienced membership. The Guild holds a series of high profile annual events such as the prestigious Craft Guild of Chef Awards, The Graduate Awards and The National Chef of the Year competition. The association also hosts live demonstrations at top trade events throughout the year.
Competing provides a whole new string to your bow, allows you to showcase your own ideas, be recognised by your peers and have the opportunity to develop new skills and experience diverse food styles and presentations. There is also a personal sense of pride. Competing also offers opportunities to establish greater relationships with suppliers through sponsorship, to network with chefs you would never dream of meeting ordinarily, and compete against some of the world’s finest talent.
Any student can sign up but they need to provide us with their lecturer’s details as the official entry can only be submitted by a college lecturer. A college can enter as many teams as it wishes.
Competition judges are from organisations and associations including our official partner the Craft Guild of Chefs, the Welsh Culinary Association, and the Federation of Chefs Scotland. All judges are independent and all work to a standardised judging format.
Stage 1 – Entry
Teams must submit a paper entry form, which will include details of their three-course, four-cover menu, the ingredients and methodology used for each course and the associated costs of each element.
Stage 2 – Paper Judging
Entries will be ‘paper judged’ by a panel of judges who will be looking to see whether a team’s menu is balanced and achievable to cook within the 1 hour time limit. Teams will also be judged on their interpretation of the ‘use of local/regional ingredients, processes, techniques, culinary skills and ability to cost a menu.
Stage 3 – Regional Heats
The short listed teams will compete in live cook offs at each regional heat. Teams will be marked by a panel of judges against a number of criteria including taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working method, timing and the overall balance of the menu. The winning team from each of the regional heats along with a ‘Best Runner Up’ from across all the heats will then be invited to take part in the live competition final. The ‘Best Runner Up’ will be announced on completion of all the regional heats.
Stage 4 – Competition Final
The ten qualifying teams will compete in a live cook off at the competition final, which will be held at ExCel, London. The teams will be marked by a panel of judges against a number of criteria including taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working method, timing and the overall balance of the menu. The team with the best overall mark will be crowned the Country Range Student Chef Challenge champions!
Latest Student Chef Challenge news
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