Entries are now open for the prestigious Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2017/8. Chef lecturers from across the UK have until November 30 to enter their teams into this coveted competition, which culminates in a grand final in the Live Theatre at Hotelympia in March next year. Each team is made up of three full-time students, who will be required to plan, cook and present a three-course, threecover meal. This year’s theme is ‘Around the world in 3 spices’. The Challenge is run in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs and judged to professional competition standards. Last year’s winning chef lecturer, Annmarie Farr, from Ayrshire College, said: “The Country Range Student Chef Challenge is one of the biggies. It’s a great experience – once in a lifetime – and the girls will remember it forever. It is the pinnacle of their careers. Winning has brought fantastic publicity to the college too and it will look brilliant on the girls’ CVs.”

Competition timeline

Entry deadline: November 30
Paper judging: December
Announcement of who is through to the regional heats: w/c December 18
Regional heats: late January/early February – specific location and timings will be announced after the paper judging
Grand final: 10 teams to compete March 7 (11am-12.30pm) at Hotelympia


The winning team will receive:
• A bespoke selected chef knife set by Flint & Flame
• Guided trip to the 2018 Universal Cookery & Food Festival in Westlands (September 2018). Designed by chefs for chefs, this unique festival changes location every year and features an eclectic mix of demonstrations, workshops and tours (www.cookeryandfoodfestival.co.uk)
• Dinner at the stunning one Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant in Kenilworth (www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk), plus an overnight stay in a nearby hotel

The winning team lecturer will receive a full knife set by Flint & Flame The 1st and 2nd runners-up will also receive chef knives. For more details and how to enter the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2017/18 visit www.countryrangestudentchef.co.uk

Emily Bucknall has Sat nav set for the top
A former winning team member of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge has bagged her dream job. After a whirlwind 18 months, Loughborough College’s Emily Bucknall is embarking on the next step of her professional cookery development after being snapped up by the two star Michelin – Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms.

Emily completed a 3-day stage at the illustrious restaurant and was offered a role of commis chef on completion after impressing Sat and his experienced team.

A delighted Emily said: “I’m over the moon and I just can’t believe everything that has happened this past two years really. To now be about to start with one of the biggest names in British food, is beyond my wildest expectations but is an opportunity I’m going to seize with everything I have.

“For me, it all started with winning the Country Range Student Chef Challenge really. The win gave me direction, a huge confidence boost and a burning desire to work in the best kitchens with the finest chefs. The skills learnt, experienced gained and happy memories will stay with me for life so I recommend all budding college chefs to get involved.”

>> Click here to read the rest of the September 2017 Stir it up Magazine <<