Are you up to the challenge?


The 2019/2020 Challenge

Entries are now open 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 Criteria

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

•  A flat fish, filleted and a sauce made from the bones.
The dish must be served with an appropriate garnish and must include one turned mushroom per portion.

•  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 an appropriate garnish including starch, vegetable and sauce.

•  A lemon tart with a modern twist. 

Each team must utilise at least one Country Range brand ingredient within each cours from the list available here.

To place an order for the samples you need, 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 four 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, the winning team will receive their own Country Range Student Chef Challenge Flint and Flame Professional Chef Knives on the day of the final.  As part of their prize, they will receive a day’s work experience placement at a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as a trip to London.  During the trip, they will be taken on a food tour of the city, including the underground growing market, and share a dining experience with the Challenge and Craft Guild of Chefs team!

The Lecturer of the Winning Team

We appreciate the additional time and resource that each and every lecturer invests in order to allow teams to enter the Challenge.  As a result, we award the winning lecturer with their very own bespoke Chefi Premium Leather Knife Case.

The Runners-up

Each student will receive a Country Range Student Chef Challenge engraved Flint & Flame Professional Chef Knife.

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 2020 – February 2020
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

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 12:15 pm, HRC Show, London’s ExCel
The 10 victorious teams from these heats will then compete at the grand final, which will take place on the 3rd March 2020 in the Live Theatre at the Hospitality, Catering and Restaurant (HRC) Show at London’s ExCel.

Why you should get involved