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26th February 2024

Major Series Challenge 2024 unveils eight finalists

Written by: Edward Waddell
The 2024 Major Series Challenge, held in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, has named the eight catering college students advancing to the final, which will be held on Monday 25th March 2024 at the HRC Show.

In the final, the eight competitors will be required to prepare, cook and present three portions of a main course suitable for a fine dining/brasserie menu within 60 minutes. At least one Major product from any of the Major ranges must be used.   

The finalists include:

  • Emma Barker – Sheffield College
  • Shannon Cairns – Sheffield College
  • Abigail Smith – New College Durham
  • Charlie Jones – New College Durham
  • Mia Harrison-George – Exeter College
  • Samantha Taylor-Clarke – Individual Competitor at South Devon College Heat
  • Oscar Buckley – Eastleigh College
  • Samuel Kemp – Basingstoke College of Technology

Competitors are responsible for supplying all food and small equipment. Competitors are required to have a printed menu and descriptions of their dishes on their work stations stating which of the Major stocks and/ or marinades have been used.

Any pre-marinated meats must be marinated with Major marinades only. No pre made sauces are allowed and any stocks used must be from the Major stock base range. Acceptable mise-en-place include peeled vegetables only, pre-marinated meats (Major), brioche and raw/uncooked fresh pastry (puff, filo, short).

Wayne Harris, chairman of judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs, commented: “This year has seen a record number of entries over the four heats with over 200 competitors. It is great to see young chefs trying their hand at competitions and showing such dedication and passion for their dishes.

“The future for our industry is still as bright as ever. We have invited many competitors back to assist in the judging at the heats, this is received well by all and they realise it is not as easy to judge as they first think when they enter a competition.

“I am looking forward to a great final at HRC this year and I am hopeful if they hold their nerve and deal with the atmosphere at the Excel, that the standard is as good as it was in the heats.”