From education to employment

Coral Rose Urges More Girls to Enter Country Range Student Chef Challenge

With the title being won by all-female teams in the previous two years, Coral Rose, Managing Director of the Country Range Group is urging more girls to enter the Student Chef Challenge to continue to help level the playing field in the often male-dominated professional kitchens. 

In 2016 and 2017, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, which is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs was won by all-female teams from Loughborough College and Ayrshire College respectively.  The 2017/18 challenge is now open for entries.  

Coral Rose, Country Range Group Managing Director said:

“It’s been fantastic to see the girls dominating the Student Chef Challenge this past couple of years and hopefully that will only encourage more to look at the professional kitchen as a career prospect. For too long women have been under represented in professional kitchens so hopefully the publicity generated around the talented Ayrshire and Loughborough teams will continue to raise the profile of female chefs and inspire more girls to take part in competitions.”

Annmarie Farr, lecturer of the 2017 winning team from Ayrshire College, agreed:

“The girl’s triumph this year has definitely inspired more students to get into catering and that’s a fantastic thing for the industry.  Whether they win or lose, it’s a fantastic experience for the students and also provides brilliant publicity for the department and the college.  The girls win last year has definitely helped us develop a reputation as a top catering college so we can attract and nurture the next generation of Scottish female chefs.”

Now in its 24th year, the Student Chef Challenge is also a fantastic opportunity for students to gain real employment in professional kitchens, which was highlighted by 2016 winner Emily Bucknall recently gaining a job at Sat Bains Michelin-starred restaurant.

The Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2017/2018

  • The challenge requires teams of three students to develop a three-course, three-cover menu demonstrating their own unique interpretation of this year’s ‘Around the World in Three Spices’ theme.
  • The teams have a maximum budget of £15 worth of ingredients for all three covers and a different fresh or ground spice (single or bespoke blend) must be used in each of the courses. 
  • The recipes need to be tried and tested to ensure students are able to prepare, cook and present the full menu within a 90-minute period.
  • Details of each course including full recipes, methodology showing menu development and understanding of the theme plus full costings and images must be submitted by the 30th November 2017 for the paper judging stage.
  • Lecturers can submit and complete the full team entries here or can download the PDF entry form and send it to the freepost address or email it.
  • Based on the results of the paper judging, Live Regional Heats will take place at easily-accessible catering colleges between the 22nd January – Friday 8th February 2018.
  • The Live Grand Final will take place on Wednesday 7th March 2018 between 11:00am – 12:30pm in front of an exhibition audience at Hotelympia 2018 – the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality event.
  • In addition to taking home the much-coveted title, the three victorious students will each win a bespoke set of three Flint & Flame knives and a trip to the 2018 Universal Cookery & Food Festival, Westlands in September 2018.  Here they will be guided throughout the day by various Craft Guild of Chefs’ leading chefs & ambassadors and they will be treated to one night’s accommodation and dinner at Michelin starred restaurant Simpsons in Kenilworth.
  • The lecturer of the winning team will also be presented with a specially selected knife set plus the winning college will receive a personalised PR package to maximise regional and industry publicity around the victory.

Related Articles