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6th January 2020

Semi-finalists revealed for County Range Student Chef Challenge 2019/20

Written by: Edward Waddell
Fourteen college teams have been announced as semi-finalists for the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2019/20.

Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs the competition enables young chefs to develop their culinary skills. The fourteen teams will compete in regional heats in early February 2020 before the victorious teams advance to the final, which will take place at the Hospitality, Catering and Restaurant (HRC) Show on 3 March 2020. 

The fourteen successful teams taking part in the semi-finals include: 

  • Ayrshire College (Ayr Campus)
  • Ayrshire College (Kilmarnock Campus)
  • Carlisle College
  • City of Glasgow College
  • City of Liverpool College
  • Havant & South Downs College
  • Loughborough College
  • Newcastle College
  • Peterborough Regional College
  • SERC (South Eastern Regional College)
  • University of Derby
  • West Lothian College Team 1
  • West Lothian College Team 2
  • West Suffolk College

Chris Basten, vice president at the Craft Guild of Chefs and chairman of judges at the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, said: “Each and every application submitted had merit but unfortunately only fourteen teams can make it through so a huge well done to them. The hard part now is to recreate that excitement on the plate and palate under competition conditions in the semi-finals. 

“The students who submitted applications clearly put a lot of time and effort in their menus as the level of detail was fantastic, with some modern and classic trends, skills and techniques listed in their methods such as pickling, rehydrating and compressing. Best of luck to all students in the next stage.”

The 2019/20 Student chef Challenge focussed on how students can use classic techniques and skills to reduce food waste. Teams of three full-time catering and hospitality students will need to prepare and cook a three-course, four-cover menu in 90 minutes. 

Vasita Jantabutara, brand manager at Country Range, added: “Congratulations to all the teams who have made it through to the semi-final heats and commiserations to those who just missed out.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision for our judges as the quality of menus submitted was phenomenal and is an example of the fantastic young catering talent we have in colleges around the UK and Ireland. Good luck to all the teams in the semi-finals. I certainly can’t wait to see what is dished up on the day.” 

The cost per cover is £8 and 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.