From education to employment

Country Range Student Chef Challenge Deadline For Entries Extended to the 5th December

Craft Guild of Chefs’ Director of Operations Andrew Green is urging catering colleges and students to enter the 2017 Country Range Student Chef Challenge after the deadline for entries was extended to Monday 5th December.

The prestigious competition is in its 23rd year and has become the pinnacle for full-time hospitality and catering college students looking to showcase their culinary prowess and creativity in team situation, while developing “real life” catering skills and experience under intense pressure situations.

Andrew Green commented:

“With several colleges getting in touch and asking for more time, we decided to ease the pressure and put the deadline for the 2017 Challenge back until the 5th December to give absolutely everyone the opportunity to be involved.  We understand it’s a busy time for catering departments but it’s shaping up to be a fantastic challenge so we have extended the deadline to enable a few more teams to take part.”

The challenge sees teams of three students tasked with creating, preparing and cooking a three-course, three-cover menu around the theme ‘Healthy Gourmet Fine Dining’.   The menu must include:

  • A vegetarian starter containing at least one super grain, such as amaranth, chia seeds, freekeh or quinoa
  • A main course that can contain meat or fish but must be centred around imaginative healthy cooking techniques
  • A dessert that should contain fruit where possible and refrain from containing too much butter and cream.

Applications, Timings and Deadlines

Chef lecturers are encouraged to email all entries to [email protected]as soon as possible.  Each team will be required to submit a completed entry form, which includes details of their three-course, three-cover menu, the ingredients and methodology used for each course and the associated costs of each element, which must total a maximum of £8 per cover.  Deadline for registrations now closes on the 5th December.   

The menus will then be judged with the winning teams selected to compete in regional heats at the end of January 2017 before the successful teams make it through to the live final which will take place on the 15th March in the Live Theatre of ScotHot – Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show.  ScotHot runs from the 15-16th March at the SECC Glasgow and is also home to the 31st Scottish Culinary Championships.   

In addition to taking home the much-coveted title, the victorious team will also win the unique opportunity to work with the Guild’s culinary team in catering for over a thousand guests at the Craft Guild of Chefs Annual Awards 2017.

Last year’s challenge was won by Loughborough’s Emily Bucknall, Daniella Bromley and Rebecca Brooks who were awarded the privilege of assisting the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Culinary Team at the Culinary Olympics in October. 

In a reversal of roles, the girls supported their lecturer Darren Creed who was competing for the Craft Guild’s team at the international cooking competition and won bronze.  He commented:

“The student chef challenge is incredibly relevant and fantastic for student’s CV’s as it tests key skills they will need to make it in a kitchen and succeed, from meticulously planning and costing a dish to working under pressure in a team. The regional and national press we have received since winning the competition has also provided a fantastic platform for us to shout about our talented departments and students.” 

On competing at the culinary Olympics, he said:

“To be offered a place in the Craft Guild team to compete in my first Culinary Olympics was an honour in itself but to have the girls assisting me and then winning bronze is truly amazing and something I will cherish forever. It would never have happened without the girl’s success in the Student Chef Challenge and their hard work so the medal is as much for them as me.” 


Editor’s Notes

Country Range

With 20 years of heritage servicing the UK’s innovative foodservice sector, Country Range is the leading independent foodservice brand and now offers over 850 products, all developed exclusively for professional caterers.  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.  The brand is developed and produced by the Country Range Group and is distributed exclusively by the 13 independent wholesalers that make up the Group.


Twitter/Instagram: @countryrangeuk

Craft Guild of Chefs

The Craft Guild of Chefs have run the Student Chef Challenge for 23 years, working closely with the competition sponsors to plan and host the Challenge with steering from the Guild’s own Culinary team.

Established in 1965 and having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, 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.


Phone: 020 8948 3870

Email:  [email protected]

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