Country Range ‘Student Chef Challenge’ winner, Emily Bucknall, enters Michelin-starred kitchen

Emily Bucknall
08/08/2017 - 11:21
Emily Bucknall – winner of the 2016 Country Range ‘Student Chef Challenge’ – is preparing for the next stage of her cookery career as she joins the two-Michelin starred Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms.

Entering as a commis chef, Bucknall will be working under the guidance of Sat Bains and his experienced team, including head chef John Freeman, having impressed them during her three-day stage at the restaurant.

Since winning the challenge – run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs - with her Loughborough College team back in March 2016, Bucknall has competed in the Culinary Olympics, finished her level three diploma in advanced cookery and also been awarded a City & Guilds medal for excellence.

She said: “I’m over the moon and I just can’t believe everything that has happened this past two years really.  To now be about to start with one of the biggest names in British food is beyond my wildest expectations, but it is an opportunity I’m going to seize with everything I have.”

Her Loughborough lecturer and mentor, Darren Creed, added: “I’m so proud of Emily and delighted for her.  She arrived at college a shy student who didn’t know much about professional cookery so the transformation has been amazing.  She’s the most dedicated student I have seen who is always looking to improve, help the team and she absorbs everything.   Starting at a 2 Michelin restaurant under the tutelage of the likes of Sat and Head Chef John, there are no limits to how far she can go.”

The Country Range ‘Student Chef Challenge’ 2018 is now open for entry and requires teams of three full-time students to plan, cook and present a three-course, three-cover meal that both looks and tastes great and showcases students’ cooking skills and techniques. Focusing on the ‘Around the World in 3 Spices’ theme, applications must be submitted before 30 November.

Bucknall commented: “For me, it all started with winning the Country Range Student Chef Challenge really.  The win gave me direction, a huge confidence boost and a burning desire to work in the best kitchens with the finest chefs.  The skills learnt, experienced gained and happy memories will stay with me for life so I recommend all budding college chefs to get involved.”

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