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13th February 2020

Finalists named for Country Range Student Chef Challenge

Written by: Edward Waddell
Ten teams have progressed to the final of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge following the two semi-finals at Loughborough College on 24 January and at Glasgow College on 6 February.

The live Grand Final will take place at the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) Show at ExCeL London on 4 March 2020. 

The ten finalists include: 

  • Ayrshire College (Kilmarnock Campus)
  • Carlisle College
  • City of Glasgow College
  • City of Liverpool College
  • Loughborough College
  • Newcastle College
  • Peterborough Regional College
  • SERC (South Eastern Regional College)
  • University of Derby
  • West Suffolk College

The semi-finals focussed on how students can use classical techniques to maximise the use of ingredients to reduce food waste. 

Chris Basten, chairman of judges, said: “I was already excited to see what the students would present in the semi-final heats after reading their menus beforehand and they certainly didn’t disappoint with the execution of their dishes and the flavours they provided.

“It’s always difficult replicating your menu under the watchful eyes of the judges but all the students responded well to the pressure and showed off some fantastic skills and techniques. Commiserations to the teams who just missed out but a huge congratulations to those who made the final!”

For the final teams of three full-time catering students must prepare and serve a three-course four-cover menu in 90 minutes with a cost of £8 per cover. 

The menu must include: 

  • Starter – A flat fish, filleted and a sauce made from the bones. The dish must be served with appropriate garnish and 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 – A lemon tart with a modern twist.

Vasita Jantabutara, brand manager at Country Range, added: “For student chefs in the early stages of their culinary career to be able to plan, prepare and execute dishes of that quality is remarkable so a huge well done to all the students who took part in the semi-finals. 

“The standard throughout all the heats was phenomenal with some brilliant skills and techniques on show. All the students can be proud of their achievements but good luck to the ten teams competing in the grand final as it’s all set up for a fantastic finish.”