From education to employment

Country Range Student Chef Challenge Looking to Change Negative Perceptions of a Career in Hospitality

With the catering industry supposedly a negative career to embark on due to short-term, part-time, low-paid, low-skilled jobs, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge is looking to shine a positive light on the some of the fantastic young and upcoming talent around the UK after opening the registration for its 2019/20 competition.

Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, 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.

With registration for this year’s Challenge now open, the organisers are hoping the competition will help prove to young people that a career in the career industry can be hugely exciting and rewarding and that the negative reputation it sometimes receives is unjust.

Emma Holden, organiser of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, said:

“A career in the hospitality industry is often seen as a negative path to take so we hope the Country Range Student Chef Challenge can help change these unfair perceptions. With a supposed skills shortage on the way it’s vital that we show young people the great many benefits of working in the catering industry so hopefully the Challenge can be a glimpse into what the future holds for them. A number of our previous entrants have gone on to work in top restaurants so it just shows how the Challenge can be a springboard for greater success.”

Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2019/20

The 2019/20 Challenge will focus on how students can use classic techniques and skills to maximise the use of ingredients and reduce 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. The dish must be served with appropriate garnish including starch, vegetable and sauce.

Dessert – Lemon tart with a modern twist

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 by visiting to ensure they receive an entry pack.

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 on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 at 12.15pm.

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 and Ireland’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.


Related Articles