Country Range Student Chef Challenge returns!

After many culinary students missed out on the opportunity to test themselves in catering competitions in 2021, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge has returned for 2022.

The competition, which has now been running for over a quarter of a century, involves teams of three full-time hospitality and catering students from colleges around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Applications open on 1 September, but lecturers and students can register their interest now at

The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, which provides judging and detailed feedback to the students.

A prize of an overnight stay, meal and then a stage working at a Michelin star restaurant is on offer to the winning team but the challenge also enables the students and colleges to boost their profiles and generate strong publicity.

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.”

Country Range group marketing manager Kate Bancroft 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 2022 Challenge 

The Challenge focuses on testing essential core skills and techniques and has been carefully designed in line with the NVQ syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques.

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

Consisting of smoked fish canapés, 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.

Applications open on 1 September, with the deadline for submissions set for 26 November.  A paper judging stage will follow in December before the practical regional heats take place in late January and early February 2022.

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

Tel: Country Range Group (0845) 209 3777

Published Date: August 20, 2021

Category: Wholesale Industry News