Entries have opened for the 2021/2022 Country Range Student Chef Challenge.
The competition, which has been running for over a quarter of a century, provides a test for three-strong teams of full-time hospitality and catering students from colleges around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to compete.
Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, which provides competition-standard judging and detailed feedback to entrants, the competition offers a prize of an overnight stay, meal and a stage working at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Chris Basten from the Craft Guild of Chefs, who is once again lead judge, said: "We've missed it, the lecturers have missed it and the students missed it, so it's terrific to have the Country Range Student Chef Challenge back. The lack of competitions has left a huge gap in the learning and enjoyment factor for many hospitality students. After being cooped up for the last 18 months, I'm expecting to see more interest than ever and believe this could be the biggest and best year yet."
Country Range group marketing manager Kate Bancroft added: "From speaking to lecturers and students, there is no doubt the lack of catering competitions has left a serious gap in the experience and enjoyment of hospitality students. As a group, it is of paramount importance that we continue to nurture and support the next generation of chefs and the incredible colleges and lecturers working behind the scenes, so we're excited at the return of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge in 2022."
This year's competition will focus on essential core skills and techniques and has been designed in line with the NVQ syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques.
Each team will devise a three-course menu, consisting of smoked fish canapés, a guinea fowl main course and a tart with a crumble topping for dessert. Dishes must be prepared, cooked and presented to a high standard within 90 minutes.
Application forms are available now with the deadline for submissions 26 November 2021. A paper judging stage will follow in December before the practical regional heats take place in late January and early February 2022.
The live final will see eight teams cook-off at the returning Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show (HRC) at Excel London on 22 March 2022.