Colleges and chef lecturers around the country are being urged to register their interest in the prestigious Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2019/20, run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, following the highly anticipated announcement of this year’s theme.
The 2018/19 edition saw the Challenge celebrate its 25th anniversary and it was Alan Coats, Ance Kristone and Andreau Talla of City of Glasgow College who took home the trophy, with students from Loughborough College and Carlisle College picking up second and third place respectively.
The 2019/20 Challenge will focus how students can use classic techniques and skills to maximise the use of ingredients and reducing on food wastage. With this in mind, teams of three full-time catering students will be required to plan, prepare and present a three-course, four-cover meal in just 90 minutes. The menu must include:
Starter - Flat fish, filleted and a sauce made from the bones. The dish must be served with appropriate garnish but must include one turned mushroom per portion.
Main - Three bone loin of pork, the eye of the meat must be used. The trim is to be used for a separate element e.g. faggot kebab or pie. Must be served with appropriate garnish including starch, vegetable and sauce.
Dessert - Lemon tart with a modern twist
Teams will compete in regional heats in the last week of January to the first week of February 2020 before the victorious students face-off in the grand final, which will this year take place at the Hospitality, Catering and Restaurant (HRC) Show at London’s ExCel in March 2020.
Emma Holden, organiser of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, said:
“We’re thrilled to launch this year’s competition and are hoping as many chef lecturers as possible will register an interest as the Challenge provides a fantastic platform for their students to showcase their skills and talent. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for their students to gain experience in college catering competitions, which are vital to help raise the profile of the industry and showcase the amazing student and lecturer talent in the UK.”
Darren Creed, Chef Lecturer at Loughborough College, added:
“I always enter the Country Range Student Chef Challenges and really couldn’t recommend it more highly to other college catering lecturers. Not only do the students get to showcase the skills and techniques they’ve learnt at college under competition conditions against the best young chefs from around the UK, but they also receive guidance and feedback along the way and have the chance to develop some fantastic contacts for the future. It really is the perfect stepping stone for a future career in the hospitality industry.”
Country Range Student Chef Challenge
The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is seen by many as the pinnacle for catering students looking to showcase their culinary skills under competition conditions and has played a huge role in developing young chefs and talent around the UK.
Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and detailed feedback to the students, previous winning teams have been given the opportunity to compete at the Culinary Olympics and cook for the country’s leading chefs at the Craft Guild of Chefs Annual Awards.
Applications, Timings and Deadlines
As the start of term can be an incredibly busy period for students, lecturers and colleges, the challenge is now open to chef lecturers and colleges across the UK to register their interest to ensure they receive an entry pack in time for the new term.
The 2018/19 Challenge Winners
The 2018/19 Challenge saw Alan Coats, Ance Kristone and Andreau Talla help City of Glasgow College win the title for the second consecutive year in a hotly contested final at ScotHot, Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show. As part of their prize, the talented trio won a unique opportunity to undertake a work experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as being taken on a foodie tour of London which included a visit to the capital’s iconic Billingsgate Market.
About Country Range: With over 25 years of heritage servicing the UK’s innovative foodservice sector, the Country Range Group is made up of 13 independent wholesalers - Birchall Foodservice, Blakemore Foodservice, Caterite Foodservice, Creed Foodservice, Dunns Food and Drinks, EFG Foodservice, Harvest Fine Foods, Henderson Foodservice, Savona Foodservice, Savona Foodservice South West Thomas Ridley Foodservice, Trevors Foodservice and Turner & Price. In addition to offering the leading brands from around the globe, the Group also provides over 750 products, all developed exclusively for professional caterers under the Country Range brand. Covering grocery, chilled, frozen and non-food, Country Range is widely recognised by caterers as a trusted and reliable brand delivering consistent quality and value for money without compromising on taste and flavour.