Campus Speed Cook Challenge

Campus Speed Cook Challenge

The Campus Speed Cook Challenge is to deliver 2 plates of a hot dish cooked and served in 30 minutes using rice, pasta or a grain as the main component.

The competition is open to all TUCO member universities and colleges, from junior to sous chefs.

Each competitor is required to create a recipe for consideration.
16 finalists will be chosen from the entries to go forward to the live cook off on Tuesday 27th March at the University of Warwick.

Following on from last year’s success this year sees an expansion of our live cooking competitions..  An audience will be able to watch as our eight kitchen stations cook the food in front of them.  Equipment provided in the kitchens includes; electric 4 ring hob and oven, electric salamander grill and preparation tables.  Competitors may bring their own additional small equipment.  This additional equipment must be capable of being set up in the kitchen within five minutes, and any equipment requiring power must run off a standard 13 amp plug socket, and draw no more than 500 watts of power.  A maximum of two power points are available per chef station for these additional items.

Proudly sponsored by Bidfood



Our competition sponsor Bidfood have support from Major International and Nestlé Professional.

Should competitors wish to include any Nestlé Professional or Major International products in their dishes for the competition, free samples can be requested through these contacts:
- Nestlé Professional, Jemma Maguire This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Major International, Steve Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Competition task

Each competitor will be required to deliver two portions of a dish, one to be served plated and the other to be presented as food-on-the-go in a disposable container.
Key components to comprise of either pasta, rice or grain and must be cooked live, from scratch, within the 30 minute competition period and be presented to judges on within time.

Prizes will be presented to one winner and two runners up at the awards evening.

Written and verbal feedback will be given after the competition.


Competition Rules

Each finalist will be allowed 30 minutes to prepare their dish.
Dishes can be served as soon as they are ready. Points will be deducted for dishes served after the allocated time of 30 minutes.

2 dishes should be presented; one will be used for audience viewing and photographic purposes and the other for judging. No other items of food may be presented.

Each entrant will be responsible for all food costs associated with their participation in the competition.

Costing of the menu will not be a judging criteria.  However, excessive use of expensive ingredients may be taken into account and penalised.  All ingredients will be checked and spare or extra ingredients must not be brought into the competition kitchen.

Spectators are welcome and encouraged to the competition.  This year's viewing has been vastly improved to allow support and visitors to watch the live cooking stations.

For those arriving on the Monday, there is refrigerated storage available.

The winners and runners up will be required to participate in publicity arising from this competition, including but not restricted to, product endorsement and photo shoots.  By entering the competition, all entrants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the rules and consent to the transfer of their personal data to the promoter for the purposes of the administration of the competition, and any other purposes to which the entrant has consented. All entry instructions form part of the rules.

All electrical items brought by yourselves to be used in the competition must have a valid PAT tested sticker on them otherwise they may be used.

Vegetables can be peeled but not cut or shaped.  All ingredients will be checked before the competition starts for any items that do not conform to the rules as stated and will be removed before commencement of the cook off.


What to expect on the day

Each finalist will be provided with a branded chef's jacket. Please complete your size on the entry form. The competitor must provide all other protective clothing.  Hair should be covered at all times when present in the competition kitchens Changing facilities are available, but no responsibility will be accepted for any losses.

Shared refrigerators and freezers will be available.  Each competition kitchen will have electric 4 ring hob and oven, electric salamander grill and preparation tables.  A double socket electrical outlet will be available.  No loose kitchen equipment (pots and pans etc) will be provided.  Finalists must ensure that they provide their own cooking and other equipment they will be using during the competition. A table with a white table covering will be provided for judging and photographs.  Cleaning equipment and materials will be provided.

Full details of timings and when you will be required to set up and compete will be sent to you should your entry be successful.


 Key points to help you achieve better results

  • Show as many culinary skills as possible without over-complicating your food
  • Food needs to be at the correct temperature
  • Presentation needs to be pleasing to the eye
  • Practice the dishes you plan to present to the judges
  • Concentrate on ingredients that work together
  • Cook food you are comfortable with, don't overstretch yourself and risk a poorly executed meal
  • Work within timings for chosen dishes, cook to sensible levels
  • Concentrate on flavour, portion size and presentation without losing sight of all aspects
  • Show innovation
  • Always adhere to the competition criteria
  • Above all enjoy the day!

Each judge will mark each entrant's menu out of 100 points on each of the following criteria:

  • Presentation
  • Flavour, taste & temperature
  • Culinary skills
  • Portion size
  • Organisation
  • Timing

The winner will be the finalist who has shown evidence that he/she has prepared dishes that can be served as a balanced easy to eat meal.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances the promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize for an alternative of equal or greater value. No correspondence will be entered into.  Written and verbal feedback will be given after the competition.




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TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

t: 01474 520 267 e: morag@h2opublishing.co.uk

Contact Us

The University Caterers Organisation Ltd

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St Ann Street, Manchester

M2 7LE

t: 0161 713 3420 e: info@tuco.ac.uk