Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2023/24 opens early for entries

The next instalment of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge is now open for registrations – a little earlier than usual.

Providing lecturers and students with more time to plan, test and enter their menus ahead of the paper judging deadline on 1 December 2023, the earlier kick-off date also helps colleges to use the competition’s prestige to recruit new students to their hospitality and catering courses.

The Country Range Student Chef Challenge has been a key part of developing culinary talent for over 25 years. It is run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and vital feedback to the students throughout the process.

Focusing on the essential core skills and techniques that culinary students are taught in college and carefully designed in line with the NVQ syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques, this year’s Challenge is open to teams of three student chefs studying hospitality or catering courses at college.

Following the paper judging, regional heats will take place in early 2024 before the live Grand Final at the HRC Show at Excel in March.

Fantastic for the CV and job prospects, the victorious students will win a special dining experience and the opportunity to work at a Michelin starred restaurant, plus a professional knife.

For the triumphant college and lecturer, claiming the title can be a powerful way of boosting their profile as leaders when it comes to catering courses.

The focus for this year’s competition is ‘Love Local’ and challenges teams to discover and showcase the best of their local area. Each team needs to prepare, cook and present a three-course, four-cover menu to the following criteria:


Vegetarian – can contain dairy and eggs.


Seabass, one whole (suggested weight 1.2kg), can bring gutted but must be filleted as part of the competition. Served with a mollusc or bi-valve garnish, a starch, and British seasonal vegetables.


Chocolate – at least 50% of Country Range white or dark chocolate drops must be used or a combination of both.

Graham Caldwell, Country Range Group marketing manager and challenge organiser, said: “We’re thrilled to get the next edition of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge under way and by bringing the launch date forward before the colleges break up, we’re hoping to make it easier for lecturers and teams to prepare and enter.

“It’s imperative that we continue to support student chefs as they enter the hospitality world and show them how fantastic and rewarding a career in catering can really be.”


Published Date: July 6, 2023
Category: Wholesale Industry News