Registration Opens for Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2023

College lecturers across the UK and Ireland who are yearning to put their catering department on the culinary map are being urged to enter a team of aspiring chefs into the next instalment of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, with the 2023 competition registration process now open.

Catering competitions are essential for ambitious chefs dreaming of becoming the next Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge or Sat Bains as they allow them to truly test their culinary skills against college peers from around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under intense competition conditions. 

Run in collaboration with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and vital feedback to the students throughout the process, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge has been running for over 25 years and is the greatest test for teams of three full-time hospitality and catering students.

This Years Challenge Theme

The theme for the 2023 Challenge will focus on testing essential core skills and techniques and has been carefully designed in line with the syllabus to assess both classical and modern cooking techniques. This year’s theme is ‘Around the World’ encouraging students to research and be inspired by various food formats, flavours and cooking techniques from different cultures and cuisines. 

As well as claiming the much-desired title of Country Range Student Chef Challenge winners, the victorious trio will also win a set of special Flint & Flame knives, an overnight stay and meal at a Michelin star restaurant, and a stage working with the talented team and learning what Michelin-level cooking is all about at the same restaurant. 

For the triumphant college and lecturer, winning the title will help them boost their profile as leaders when it comes to catering courses, whilst also providing them with fantastic national and regional publicity. The winning lecturer and the two runner-up teams will receive Flint & Flame knives.  

Lead Judge Chris Basten from the Craft Guild of Chefs said:

“Having taken part in countless culinary competitions throughout my career, I can’t stress how important they are for young chefs looking to make a name for themselves in the hospitality industry. They help make you a better planner, leader and all-round cook, while the competition can also really help to boost a chef’s profile. I’m thrilled to be Lead Judge for the Challenge again and am already getting excited thinking about some of the dishes that could be presented. I would urge any college lecturers to enter teams in to the Challenge as I believe it’s one of the best and most rewarding experiences for college catering students.”

Emma Holden, Country Range Group Head of Marketing, commented:

“It’s always a special time of the year when we launch the Country Range Student Chef Challenge and these types of student competitions have become even more important, considering the staff and skill shortages we’re seeing across catering. The Challenge provides a fantastic platform for students to showcase their skills and talent and is the perfect opportunity for them to improve, test themselves against the best and experience what life in a fast-paced kitchen is all about. It can also add huge value to their CV’s and career prospects too as a number of our previous entrants have gone on to work in top catering establishments. With our industry facing a severe skills shortage, it’s vital that the Country Range Group continues to support and nurture the next generation of chefs and help the incredible colleges and lecturers working behind the scenes.”

Find out more about the 2023 Country Range Student Chef Challenge

For more information on the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2023, visit

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Registration Opens for Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2023