Trio of talented student chefs take culinary crown two years in a row

Professional cookery chefs at City of Glasgow College win the 2019 Country Range Student Chef Challenge.

This year’s title makes it two in a row for the college’s cookery students and the win is made more special as Country Range celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College, said:

“Winning such a prestigious culinary competition two years in a row is an outstanding achievement. And it is a resounding endorsement of our students’ hard work, commitment and skill levels, and those of our lecturers; and cements the reputation our college has for professional cookery. Our congratulations go to Andreau, Ance and Alan.”

Alan Coats, on behalf of the winning team, said:

“We’re over the moon to have won in front of a home crowd at ScotHot. Getting through to the semi-final stage was an achievement in itself but to win outright is just brilliant. The challenge was a real test of the core cookery skills we learned at college and, combined with the experience of cooking in front of a live exhibition audience, is something I’ll never forget. We worked very hard on planning the menu and practised as much as we could in the lead-up to the final, so to triumph at the end is extremely rewarding.”

Robbie Phillips, Chef Lecturer at City of Glasgow College, added:

“The effort which these three students put into their menus was incredible, so all credit to them for giving up their free time to practise alongside their busy college studies and part-time jobs. The brief this year has been really interesting and challenging for the students, and I’m just so proud of the team for coming out on top.”

Eight teams battled it out at the annual ScotHot trade show which took place in Glasgow. The prize for the winning team for the special anniversary year is a day’s work experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as being taken on food tour of London which includes a guided tour of the capital’s famous Billingsgate Market where they will be taught fish filleting skills by the resident master fishmonger. 

Emma Holden, Organiser of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, commented:

“Huge congratulations to City of Glasgow College on winning this year’s competitive challenge in what is a very special 25th anniversary year. With our industry facing a skills shortage cooking competitions are vital as, not only do they help raise the profile of the industry and prepare students for a future in professional kitchens, they also showcase the fantastic student and lecturer talent around the UK.”

The theme for the Challenge this year focused on the core skills and techniques that catering students study on a second-year professional cookery course, testing their knowledge of both classical cooking and the more modern methods of the last 25 years.

The winning menu from City of Glasgow College featured:

Starter – Seared Sea Bass, Charred and Pickled Turnip, Turnip Tops, Malaysian Coconut and Peanut Curry, Garlic Crisps

Main – Roast Duck Breast, Glazed Duck Leg, Duck ‘Bacon’, Caramelised Onion, Jerusalem Artichoke, Cabbage, Brown Sauce

Dessert – Classic Chocolate Tart, Caramelised Banana, Pecan Crisp, Salted Popcorn, Popcorn Sorbet

The long-running Country Range Student Chef Challenge provides full-time hospitality and catering college students with the perfect platform to improve cooking skills, knowledge and technique, while developing real life experience under intense pressure and competition situations. Run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, who provide competition-standard judging and detailed feedback to the students.