With the next batch of culinary students embarking on catering courses across the UK and Ireland, we’re proud to once again be investing in their success with the Country Range Student Chef Challenge. It’s more important than ever that the industry continues to attract and develop new culinary talent, and the Country Range Student Chef Challenge has leant unyielding support with this over the past 25 years, testing essential core skills and techniques that culinary students are taught.

Run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and vital feedback to the students throughout the process, the Challenge is now open for applications.

Carefully designed in line with the NVQ syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques, it is open to teams of three student chefs studying hospitality or catering courses at secondary school, college and university.


Fantastic for the CV and job prospects, the victorious students will also win a special dining experience and the opportunity to work at a Michelin starred restaurant, plus a professional knife.

For the triumphant school, college, university and lecturer, claiming the title can be a powerful way of boosting their profile as leaders when it comes to catering courses, and providing fantastic national and regional publicity. 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 team lecturer with their very own engraved knife set.


The focus for this year’s competition is ‘Love Local’ challenging teams to discover and showcase the best of their local area. With the world becoming more connected and global food trends often taking the headlines, it is easy to forget the wonders on our own doorstep.

The food culture and traditions of a local area are heavily influenced and entwined by its history, landscape, people and weather. Local food also plays a significant role in how we connect with, cherish and support our community. To this end, each team of three culinary students need to prepare, cook and present a three-course, four-cover menu showcasing the produce, history, heritage and culinary traditions of their local area to meet the below criteria.


Vegetarian – can contain dairy and eggs.


Seabass, one whole (suggested weight 1.2kg). Can bring gutted but must be filleted as part of the competition. Served with a mollusc or bivalve garnish, a starch and seasonal vegetables.


Chocolate – at least 50% of Country Range White or Dark Chocolate Drops must be used or a combination of both.

For further information, application forms and to enter, please visit https://countryrange.co.uk/about/student-chef-challenge/