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Student Chef Challenge Winners Prepare To Fly Out To The Culinary Olympics

Loughborough College lecturer and chef Darren Creed is encouraging catering colleges around the UK to enter teams into this year’s Country Range Student Chef Challenge as he and his 2016 winning team prepares to fly out to Germany to compete in the Culinary Olympics.

Darren and the talented trio of young chefs Daniella Bromley, Emily Bucknall and Rebecca Brooks, who were the first all-female winners in the Student Chef Challenge’s history will be competing for the Craft Guild of Chef’s Culinary Team at the Culinary Olympics from the 19th October as part of their winning prize. 

Taking place in Erfurt, Germany, the Culinary Olympics sees chefs from all over the world compete in one of the world’s toughest international cooking competitions.   

During the tough five-day competition, the girls will assist Darren and the other team members in each creating and plating four different kinds of finger food for six people and one 5-course festive menu including a dessert. 

The Student Chef Challenge, which is run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, 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, while developing “real life” catering skills and experience under intense pressure situations.

Darren Creed, the programme area lead for hospitality, travel and aviation at Loughborough College, couldn’t speak more highly of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge and the opportunities and benefits it offers to both students and colleges. 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. In addition, the regional and national press we have received since winning has been amazing and the competition has provided a fantastic platform for us to shout about our talented department and students.”

Registration for this year’s prestigious competition is now open.  Each team of three students will be 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 invited to register their interest on to receive an entry pack and will be required to enter their team(s) by submitting 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 closes on the 28th November. 

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.

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