The semi-finals for this year’s prestigious Country Range Student Chef Challenge, which is run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs, took place on Friday 24th January at Loughborough College and Thursday 6th February at the City of Glasgow College with 10 teams progressing to the Live Grand Final at the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) Show, Excel London on March 3rd 2020 .

The successful student teams to make it through to the final were:

Ayrshire College (Kilmarnock Campus)

Carlisle College

City of Glasgow College

City of Liverpool College

Loughborough College

Newcastle College

Peterborough Regional College

SERC (South Eastern Regional College)

University of Derby

West Suffolk College

The Live Regional Semi-Finals consisted of four heats (two at Loughborough College and two at City of Glasgow College) with this year’s brief focusing on how students can use classic techniques and skills to maximise the use of ingredients and reduce food wastage.

The teams, which must consist of three full-time catering and hospitality students, were required to plan, prepare and present a three-course, four-cover menu in just 90 minutes with a cost per cover of £8. Their menus needed to include a:

Starter – A flat fish, filleted and a sauce made from the bones. The dish must be served with appropriate garnish and 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. The dish must be served with appropriate garnish including starch, vegetable and sauce

Dessert – A lemon tart with a modern twist

Chairman of Judges Chris Basten said:

“I was already excited to see what the students would present in the semi-final heats after reading their menus beforehand and they certainly didn’t disappoint with the execution of their dishes and the flavours they provided. It’s always difficult replicating your menu under the watchful eyes of the judges but all the students responded well to the pressure and showed off some fantastic skills and techniques. Commiserations to the teams who just missed out but a huge congratulations to those who made the final!”

Vasita Jantabutara, Country Range Brand Manager, added:

“For student chefs in the early stages of their culinary career to be able to plan, prepare and execute dishes of that quality is remarkable so a huge well done to all the students who took part in the semi-finals. The standard throughout all the heats was phenomenal with some brilliant skills and techniques on show. All the students can be proud of their achievements but good luck to the ten teams competing in the grand final as it’s all set up for a fantastic finish.”


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