After an incredibly tough paper judging session, Craft Guild of Chefs’ CEO Andrew Green has announced this year’s Country Range Student Chef Challenge semi-finalists.

The following 20 college teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have qualified for the semi-finals taking place week beginning the 6th Feb.

Loughborough College                                           City of Liverpool College
Bishop Burton College                                           Newbury College
Henley College Coventry                                       City of Glasgow College
Glasgow Clyde College                                           City College Norwich
SERC (Downpatrick) College                                Blackpool & Fylde College
Sussex Downs College                                            Westminster Kingsway
Coleg Llandrillo                                                    Hopwood Hall College
Derby University Team 1                                      Ayrshire College Team 1
Derby University Team 2                                      Ayrshire College Team 2
Derby University Team 3                                      Macclesfield College

The semi-finals will take place at the following colleges:

  • Loughborough College – Thursday 9th February
  • City of Glasgow College –Friday 10th February
  • City of Liverpool College – Monday 13th February

Under intense competition conditions, the semi-finalists will have to create their three-course, three-cover menu around the theme of ‘Healthy Gourmet Fine Dining’ consisting of:

  • A vegetarian starter containing at least one super grain, such as amaranth, chia seeds, freekeh or quinoa
  • A main course that can contain meat or fish but must be centred around imaginative healthy cooking techniques
  • A dessert that should contain fruit where possible and refrain from containing too much butter and cream.

Eight teams will make it through to the final which will take place on the 15th March in the Live Theatre of ScotHot – Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show.  ScotHot runs from the 15-16th March at the SECC Glasgow and is also home to the 31st Scottish Culinary Championships.

In addition to taking home the prestigious and much coveted title, the victorious team will also win the unique opportunity to work with the Craft Guild of Chef’s culinary team in catering for over a thousand guests at the Craft Guild of Chefs Annual Awards 2017.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual Country Range Student Chef Challenge has become the pinnacle for full-time hospitality and catering college students looking to showcase their culinary prowess and creativity, while developing “real life” catering skills and experience under intense pressure situations.

Coral Rose, Managing Director of Country Range Group, said:

“Interest has been terrific for this year’s challenge and the standard of applications was incredible, making the judging extremely tough.  Commiserations to those who didn’t quite make it and congratulations to the successful teams.  If the menus turn out half as good as they sounded, the judges are in for a treat.”

Andrew Green, commented:

“As always the challenge is very competitive but we believe we have selected the right teams to proceed in the competition who best hit the brief whilst producing menus that excited and dazzled. The hard part is to recreate that excitement on the plate and palate under competition conditions but they’re set up to be fantastic semi-finals. Best of luck to all.”

Country Range

With 25 years of heritage servicing the UK’s innovative foodservice sector, Country Range is the leading independent foodservice brand and now offers over 850 products, all developed exclusively for professional caterers.  Covering grocery, chilled, frozen and non-food, Country Range is widely recognised by caterers as a trusted and reliable brand delivering consistent quality and value for money without compromising on taste and flavour. The brand is developed and produced by the Country Range Group and is distributed exclusively by the 13 independent wholesalers that make up the Group.


Twitter/Instagram: @countryrangeuk

For all up to date Country Range Student Chef Challenge news visit the Challenge website at