With the 2018 competition now officially open for entries, Coral Rose, Managing Director of the Country Range Group is urging more girls to enter the Student Chef Challenge to help level the playing field in the often maledominated professional kitchens.
One of the most prestigious competitions in the student catering calendar, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge is now open for entries and provides full-time hospitality and catering college students with the perfect platform to improve their cooking skills, knowledge and technique, while developing real life experience under intense pressure and competition situations.
In 2016 and 2017, the Challenge which is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs was won by all-female teams from Loughborough College and Ayrshire College respectively.
Coral Rose, Country Range Group Managing Director said: “It’s been fantastic to see the girls dominating the Student Chef Challenge this past couple of years and hopefully that will only encourage more to look at the professional kitchen as a career prospect. For too long women have been under represented in professional kitchens so hopefully the publicity generated around the talented Ayrshire and Loughborough teams will continue to raise the profile of female chefs and inspire more girls to take part in competitions.”
Annmarie Farr, lecturer of the 2017 winning team from Ayrshire College, agreed: “The girls triumph this year has definitely inspired more students to get into catering and that’s a fantastic thing for the industry. Whether they win or lose, the students come away from the competition with new skills, knowledge and techniques but most of all the confidence and drive they gain is incredible. Winning has brought brilliant publicity for the girls, the department and the college, which has definitely helped us develop a reputation as a top catering college and attract the next generation of Scottish female chefs.”
Now in its 24th year, the Student Chef Challenge is also a fantastic opportunity for students to gain real employment in professional kitchens, which was highlighted by 2016 winner Emily Bucknall recently gaining a job at Sat Bains Michelin-starred restaurant.
Emily’s lecturer Darren Creed commented: “For the students who have that passion to go as far as they can in food, the Student Chef Challenge opens many doors. The competition is incredibly relevant and fantastic for student’s CV’s as it tests key skills that they will need to make it in a kitchen and succeed. Emily was initially quite a shy student but after winning in 2016 she was transformed and showed she had the skills, confidence and the CV to turn her trial at Sat’s into a fulltime job. She is an inspiration to me and the next generation of chefs at Loughborough so the future for female chefs is definitely bright.”