We are the lead sponsors of the key industry competition ‘The Country Range Student Chef Challenge’ run in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs. We are committed to working with the Craft Guild of Chefs, colleges and lecturers to provide a platform for the next generation of chefs to build and showcase their culinary skills and gain invaluable experience within a well-established competition format.

"We are delighted to support this well-respected competition. It is important that students are given the opportunity to showcase their skills within the industry.  The Student Chef competition not only does this but, throughout the course of the competition, provides further support and development of their talent. We are excited to be working with the colleges, students and the Craft Guild of Chefs to build an even greater event."

Coral Rose, Managing Director of Country Range Group

Now in its 24th year, the annual Country Range Student Chef Challenge has become the pinnacle for full-time hospitality and catering college students across the whole of the UK and Ireland looking to showcase their culinary prowess and creativity, while developing “real life” catering skills and experience under intense pressure situations.

For the 2016/17 Challenge, we asked teams to prepare, cook and present a three-course, three-cover menu within a 90-minute period. At the semi-final heats in February 2017, the teams were judged on their unique interpretation of the ‘Around the World in 3 Spices’ theme and the taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working methods and the overall balance of the menu.

Chef lecturers and colleges across the UK are being urged to enter and can register their interest by visiting www.countryrangestudentchef.co.uk to receive an entry pack. Applications need to be submitted by the 30th November 2017 before the paper judging stage. The teams that make it through the live regional heats will then do battle in the Live Theatre at Hotelympia in London (5-8th March 2018) in front of the country’s leading chefs and operators.

The 2017 Challenge Winners

The 2017 challenge saw the all-female team of Iona Duncan, Agnieszka Dudko and Katarzyna Hospodarewska from Ayrshire College win the coveted crown in a hotly contested final at ScotHot, Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show. As part of their prize, the talented trio won a unique opportunity to work with the Craft Guild’s culinary team in catering for over a thousand guests at the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Annual Awards 2017.

Annmarie Farr, lecturer of the winning team from Ayrshire College, explained the benefits the challenge offers:

“The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is one of the biggies. It’s a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience and the girls will remember it forever. It is the pinnacle of their careers so far and it looks brilliant on the girls’ CVs. Winning has brought fantastic publicity to the college too and has helped us develop a reputation as a top catering college.”


Are you up to the Challenge?
Find out more about the Challenge and to find out how you can enter the 2017/2018 competition visit