From education to employment

Former Finalist Takes Part in Fine Dining Extravaganza

With the deadline for entries less than a week away, former Country Range Student Chef Challenge finalist Sean Comiskey is demonstrating why the Challenge has been so beneficial to his career as he takes part in an exclusive fine dining experience in London.

Good Food For Better Cause is an industry event inspired by raising mental health awareness and will take place on December 16th at Refettorio Felix at St Cuthberts with chefs from some of the capital’s top dining establishments cooking courses. On the night Sean and his fellow Northern Irishmen chef Nathan Snodden, Sous Chef at Bonhams Restaurant, will be responsible for dessert course. All proceeds raised from the charity event will go to Refettorio Felix’s Charity to help vulnerable people. For further information visit

Sean’s culinary food story is a colourful one itself and began unexpectedly after the recession wrecked his plumbing plans in 2009. It was then that he took up a job in the kitchen in a local café that his passion for cooking started to flourish. After retraining at South East Regional College (SERC) and competing in the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2016/17, where his team made the Grand Final, the 28-year old talented chef them made the move to London to take up a position at the Michelin-starred Outlaw at the Capital.

Now with just under a week to go until the deadline for the 2018/19 Country Student Chef Challenge, Sean is urging more student chefs to enter via the website before the deadline passes –

Sean Comiskey said:

“The Country Range Student Chef Challenge provided me with the ideal platform to launch my culinary career and without the challenge and my time at SERC I wouldn’t be where I am today taking part in events like Good Food For Better Cause. We’ve all been through tough times before so as a chef it’s fantastic to be able to help raise money for a great cause through cooking and give something back to those in need. The list of chefs taking part in the event is phenomenal and I have no doubt students from the Challenge will be involved in similar in the future.”

About the Country Range Student Chef Challenge

The long-running Country Range Student Chef Challenge provides full-time hospitality and catering college students with the perfect platform to improve cooking skills, knowledge and technique, while developing real life experience under intense pressure and competition situations.    

Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and detailed feedback to the students, the 2018 Challenge was won by a team of students from the City of Glasgow College.

The Challenge

Teams of three students will be required to plan, prepare and execute a three-course, four-cover menu in 90 minutes. For 2018/2019 the Challenge criteria is focusing on the essential core skills and techniques studied on a second-year professional cookery course and will test student’s knowledge of both classical cooking and the more modern methods of the last 25 years.

The deadline for submissions is the 18th December 2018. The entries will first be judged by Craft Guild of Chefs before winning teams are selected to compete in regional heats at the end of January 2019. The victorious teams from these heats will then compete at the grand final, which will take place on the 13th March 2019 in the Live Theatre of ScotHot – Scotland’s largest hospitality and tourism show.

For full details of the Challenge and criteria, visit You can register your interest in entering the Challenge online to be the first to receive an entry pack.

The Criteria

The cost per cover is £8 and the menus must include:

An Asian themed seabass starter – this must be made using a whole seabass, which must be filleted and presented to judges with bones and trim displayed.

A main course duck dish cooked any way – demonstrating butchery skills, Students must remove both legs from the Duck and remove the bones by tunnel boning, then remove both breasts and present boned legs breasts and the carcass to the judges. Portion size for the dish is to be half a breast per person and some of the leg meat.

A classically creative dessert with a modern twist that contains at least 30% of Country Range Chocolate Drops

About Country Range

With over 25 years of heritage servicing the UK’s innovative foodservice sector, Country Range is the leading independent foodservice brand and now offers over 800 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 12 independent wholesalers that make up the Group.

Related Articles