Are you up to the challenge?


The 2018/2019 Challenge

Entries are now closed for the 2018/2019 Challenge however you can register your interest for the 2019/2020 Challenge. 

We require the teams to prepare, cook and present a three-course, four-cover menu within a 90-minute period.

Focusing on the essential core skills and techniques will test the student’s knowledge of both classical cooking and the more modern methods of the last 25 years. 

The Critera 

The cost per cover is £8 and the menus must include

•  An Asian themed seabass starter – this must be made using a whole sea bass, which must be filleted and presented to judges with bones and trim displayed.

•  A main duck dish cooked any way – demonstrating butchery skills students must remove both legs by tunnel boning before removing the breasts and presenting the whole carcass to the judges. Portion size for the dish is to be half a breast per person and some of the leg meat.

•  A classically creative dessert with a modern twist that contains at least 30% of Country Range’s Chocolate Drops 

•  To get your sample of the Country Range Chocolate Drops and anything else you might require please contact your local Country Range Group wholesaler. Not a customer? Find your nearest Country Range Group wholesaler using the map online click here 

The recipes should be tried and tested to ensure the menu is realistic for the students to be able to prepare, cook and present the three courses for three covers within a 90-minute period. The students will be expected to recreate their menus in the heats stages and at the Grand Final in front of an exhibition audience if they are successful.

In the practical stages of the Challenge the Judges will also mark the students on the practical demonstration of all these elements as well as their ability to work together as an effective team. The students will also be expected to show their awareness and knowledge of hygiene and food safety within their working methods.

What the Judges are looking for

• Clearly defined aromas, textures and flavours that complement each other within each dish

• The cooking methods chosen should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of which different cooking can be used for different categories of food to extract flavour and great technique

• Practical culinary skills such as boning and filleting – each individual student at heat stages will be expected to show the application of their basic practical culinary skills

• The menu should be balanced overall and the three courses should complement each other

• Dishes should be beautifully presented in a modern style

• Full use of ingredients to minimise waste.


The Winning Team
In addition to taking home the much coveted title, for this special anniversary year, the winning team will win a day’s work experience placement at a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as being taken on foodie tour of London which includes a guided tour of the capital’s famous Billingsgate Market where they will be taught fish filleting skills by the resident master fishmonger as well as being wined and dined by the Challenge team.

The Lecturer & College of the Winning Team

The lecturer of the winning team will win a specially selected knife set by chef knife specialists Flint & Flame. The college and catering department of the victorious College will also win a personalised PR package to ensure they maximise the opportunity the Challenge can provide to them within their region and across the industry.

The Runners-up

The students from the first and second runner-up teams will win a Chef’s knife by Flint & Flame and silver and bronze Craft Guild of Chefs medals.

All students who reach the final will receive a one year’s membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs and certificates. Each team will also win a feature within the Five Ways to Use feature of the Stir it up Magazine.

All 10 teams who reach the final will receive a one year’s membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs and certificates.

Live Regional Heats

January 2019 – February 2019
We will hold a number of regional heats in easily-accessible catering colleges throughout the UK. At the heats the teams of students whose entry makes it through the paper judging stage will compete against other teams working to prepare, cook and present their three-course menus within a 90-minute period. Judged against a national standard, the highest scoring teams will go on to compete in the Grand Finals.

The Live Grand Final

Wednesday 13th March 2019 12:30 pm, ScotHot
The 8 victorious teams from these heats will then compete at the grand final, which will take place on the 13th March 2019 in the Live Theatre of ScotHot – Scotland’s largest hospitality and tourism show.

Why you should get involved