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23rd August 2021

Country Range Student Chef Challenge returns

Written by: Edward Waddell
The next generation of chefs have the opportunity to return to catering competitions by taking part in the Country Range Student Chef Challenge in 2022.

The competition, which has been running for over a quarter of a century, provides the ultimate test for teams of three full-time hospitality and catering students from colleges around the UK. The application process is set to open from 1 September but lecturers can register their interest now to receive the latest information and advice on entering.

The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and detailed feedback to the students.   

Chris Basten from the Craft Guild of Chefs, who is once again lead judge, said:  “We’ve missed it, the lecturers have missed it and by God have the students missed it so it’s terrific to have the Country Range Student Chef Challenge back.

“The lack of competitions has left a huge gap in the learning and enjoyment factor for many hospitality students. After being cooped up for the last 18 months, I’m expecting to see more interest than ever and believe this could be the biggest and best year yet.” 

Each team of three must work together to devise a three-course menu that showcases their ‘technique, knowledge of flavour and teamwork skills’.   

Consisting of smoked fish canapes, a Guineafowl main course and a tart with a crumble topping for dessert, the dishes need to be prepared, cooked and presented to a high standard within 90 minutes.  The winners will receive an overnight stay, meal and then stage a working at a Michelin star restaurant.

Kate Bancroft, group marketing manager at Country Range Group, added: “From speaking to lecturers and students, there is no doubt the lack of catering competitions has left a serious gap in the experience and enjoyment of hospitality students.  

“As a Group, it is of paramount importance that we continue to nurture and support the next generation of chefs and the incredible colleges and lecturers working behind the scenes so we’re excited at the return of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge in 2022.” 

The live final will see eight teams cook-off at the returning Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show at on the 22nd March 2022.