BUDDING cooks in Dorset are being urged to enter the prestigious Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2017/2018.

Wessex region food and drink supplier, Harvest Fine Foods, which sponsors the event, is keen to encourage new talent before the deadline at the end of the month.

Harvest’s development chef, Phil Clark explains: “Our region has a fantastic reputation for producing some amazing chefs so we’re delighted to be supporting this competition which will hopefully help unearth and develop the next generation of kitchen stars.

"The challenge is an amazing experience for the students and provides fantastic publicity for the colleges so it’s incredibly beneficial all round. We would love to see the prestigious crown won by a local college so we’re urging more lecturers, colleges and students to get involved!”

One of the most prestigious competitions in the student catering calendar, the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 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.

Now in its 24th year, the Student Chef Challenge is also an opportunity for students to gain employment in professional kitchens, which was highlighted by 2016 winner Emily Bucknall from Loughborough College who now works at Sat Bains Michelin-starred restaurant.

Details of each course including full recipes, methodology showing menu development and understanding of the theme plus full costings and images must be submitted by November 30 2017 for the paper judging stage.

Lecturers can submit and complete the full team entries via countryrangestudentchef.co.uk or can download the PDF entry form and send it to the freepost address or email it to studentchef@countryrange.co.uk

Live Regional Heats will take place at easily-accessible catering colleges between Monday, January 22 - Friday, February 8.

The Live Grand Final will take place on Wednesday March 7, 2018 in front of an exhibition audience at Hotelympia 2018.