There are two routes to entry for this category:
- Each catering college across the South West is invited to put forward one student/apprentice chef for a guaranteed place in the semi-final. The student will be selected by the college using their own internal process/competition.
- A limited number of additional places are available at the semi-final for individual student/apprentice chefs who choose to enter directly. Entrants will be selected to take these places based on the quality of their entry and menu, which must be submitted directly through the entry form on this website.
Brief for entry stage of competition
Two courses – starter and main course
To serve four
To include the judges’ specified ingredients in any course accompanied by ingredients of your choice that should be seasonal and locally sourced wherever possible. Our judges will select the meat and fish/seafood ingredients which must be incorporated into your menu. You may choose to use them in either course.
The compulsory ingredients for 2021 will be announced nearer the time.
No pre-prepared elements permitted, with the exception of homemade stocks
Meat, fish and seafood ingredients will be provided whole, on the bone/in the shell and you will need to carry out any butchery/filleting you wish during the competition
N.B. When selecting your seasonal menu, please don’t forget that the semi-finals will be held in September!
Please send us your recipes (including method) and photographs for each course. The entry closing date for 2021 will be announced nearer the time.
- The ingredients selected by the judges must be included in all menus submitted by entrants. These ingredients may be used in either the starter or the main course.
- Selected entrants will be provided with the required quantity of each of these ingredients for the semi-final. All other ingredients must be provided by competitors.
- Competitors must only include elements in their dishes that can be prepared from scratch during the allotted competition time.
- With the exception of home-made stocks, no pre-prepared elements will be permitted and if present, will be confiscated or discounted from the judging process.
See below for further notes about the compulsory ingredients and the rules of the competition.
Selected entrants will be invited to attend the semi-finals on a Saturday in September at Exeter College, where they will be asked to prepare their proposed menus for the judges in one and a half hours. The judges will then select a number of finalists who will be invited to return for the final in late October (weekday).
Those selected for the final will be asked to prepare another two-course meal for four people in 90 minutes, using further compulsory protein elements announced two weeks before the final. Finalists will be provided with the required quantity of the compulsory ingredients for the final. All other ingredients must be provided by competitors. Competitors must only include elements in their dishes that can be prepared from scratch during the allotted competition time, with the exception of home-made stocks.
The winner will be announced at the awards presentation dinner in late October, to which each finalist will be invited.
Important notes about the compulsory ingredients
- Where the compulsory ingredient you are given is a whole bird or fish, you may use the whole bird or fish or any part of it in your dish.
- At the competition, you will receive the ingredients whole and must prepare them as you wish within the competition time, including all butchery/filleting.
- Once the judges have selected the entrants to invite to the next round, we will contact you to obtain your orders for your compulsory ingredients. You are asked not to order more than required.
- Seasonality – if you are unable to obtain the specific ingredients for photography at the time of entry, it is suggested that you use a similar ingredient for the photographs, for the purposes of demonstrating your presentation style. The judges will take this into consideration when judging all entries.
Rules of the competition
- Entrants must be living or training/working in the six counties of the South West: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire
- Competitors must only include elements in their dishes that can be prepared from scratch during the allotted competition time. With the exception of home-made stocks, no pre-prepared elements will be permitted and if present, will be confiscated or discounted from the judging process.
- Photographs of all dishes entered must be sent when entering, along with full recipes including the method.
- Selected semi-finalists will be asked to bring all of their own ingredients to the semi-final, with the exception of the compulsory ingredients nominated by the judges that must be included in all menus
- Selected semi-finalists are advised to bring all of their own equipment and presentation dishes to the competition to ensure that all required equipment is available. Competition sponsor, Churchill, will supply all presentation dishes for the final.
- Student/Apprentice Chef final – finalists will be provided with the required quantity of the compulsory ingredients for the final and are asked to bring all other ingredients with them.
- Competitors must be within the stipulated age bracket on the day of the final of the category that they wish to enter. Proof of age may be requested at the semi-final.
- The judging panel will be divided among the professional, young professional and student classes during both the semi-finals and finals, since these take place on the same day.
- If any of the judges knows of any of the competitors, they will not be included in the panel judging that particular competitor’s class.
- Only the names of those selected for the semi-finals and finals will be publicised. We do not make public the names of any entrants not selected for the semi-finals and finals.
- Entrants enter and participate in the South West Chef of the Year competition entirely at their own risk
- Entries must be received by no later than midnight on the specified closing date. There will be no extension to this closing date.
- The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.