Following four extremely tight and highly competitive semi-finals, teams from Ayrshire College, Blackpool and Fylde College, City College Norwich, City of Liverpool College, Glasgow Clyde College, Henley College, Hopwood Hall College and Loughborough College have been victorious in claiming places in the prestigious Country Range Student Chef Challenge final.
Taking place on the 15th March in the Live Theatre of ScotHot, Scotland’s biggest food, drink and hospitality show, the eight teams will once again have to recreate their ‘Healthy Gourmet Fine Dining’ menus in a cook off against each other.
ScotHot runs from the 15-16th March at the SECC Glasgow and is also home to the 31st Scottish Culinary Championships so it will be an intense, high pressured experience for the teams, especially with the crowds watching.
In addition to taking home the prestigious and much coveted Student Chef Challenge title, the victorious team will also win the once in a lifetime 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.
The semi-finals took place at Loughborough College, City of Glasgow College and City of Liverpool College on the 9th, 10th and 13thFebruary respectively. Each team had 1 ½ hours to create and plate a three-course menu which consisted of the following:
- 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.
Emma Holden, Country Range Student Chef Challenge, said:
“The semi-finals were enthralling viewing with some incredible skills, techniques and creativity on show. With the quality so high, the judging was extremely difficult and the margin between qualifying was tiny, so commiserations to those who didn’t quite make it. For those who did, a big congratulations and we look forward to seeing you at ScotHot.”
Craft Guild of Chefs’ Head judge Chris Basten commented:
“It’s all about taste and flavours but we are also looking for skills, technique, team work and character from the teams, as a three course menu is not easy to produce in just 1 ½ hours. The semi-finals have provided some amazing dishes so it’s a credit to all the teams and their college’s catering departments. There is not a lot to choose between the finalists so it’s set to be a fantastic cook-off.”
Now in its 23rd year, the annual Country Range Student Chef Challenge, which is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, 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.
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.
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