Cook & Serve Challenge

Cook & Serve Challenge

Prepare, cook and serve a three-course meal for 6 covers, 2 covers presented to the judges and 4 covers served to diners at a laid table.  The team is to consist of 1 chef, 1 commis and 1 waiter.  

First course is to be presented and served within 30 minutes, main course within 50 minutes and cheese selection within 90 minutes.  Water and two wines to be served.  A table and four chairs will be provided. Teams to provide own ingredients and equipment, descriptive menu including the wines to be provided.

The Cook & Serve competition takes place on Tuesday 27th March.

Related TUCO Academy event: Casual Dining Masterclass

Proudly sponsored by Bidfood


Service element sponsored by CUBO

Our competition sponsor Bidfood are supported by 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.



  • You will be allocated a table and have 15 minutes to lay-up; your guests need to be seated before the starter is served.
  • You are to bring with you:
    • A table centre.
    • A menu card showing the dishes to be served and the accompanying beverages.
    • A tablecloth (size to be confirmed)
    • Appropriate crockery, cutlery, glassware, cruets, corkscrew.
    • Linen napkins (you are to make two different napkin folds in the competition restaurant).
    • Wines and other beverages.
    • Butter and bread/roll offering (this will be provided by Warwick University).
    • Any appropriate protective clothing.
  • You are to wear a suitable front of house uniform.

The main points on which you will be judged are:

  • Successful interaction between you and your diners, including your product knowledge.
  • How well your wine choices complement the dishes your chefs are preparing.
  • Your preparation of the table – including menu card, table centre, table laying.
  • Making two different napkin folds.
  • Safe and hygienic practices, including uniform and personal grooming.
  • Food service skills and techniques.
  • Preparation, presentation and service of wines and other beverages.

You must bring with you all your own cooking utensils, crockery (remember you are using your own plates to present your meals), specialist items (e.g. ice cream makers etc), and all ingredients except the chicken that will be provided on the day. You will have 15 minutes to unpack and arrange your work station

Each workstation will feature a 4 ring electric hob, oven and grill, 2 electricity points plus access to table top deep fat domestic fryer, vac packer and refrigeration and a freezer in an adjacent kitchen.

Your starter must be vegan, your main will include chicken, and 3 x whole chickens will be provided for you on the day.
This year there is no dessert, you will instead present a cheese selection.  Two of these artisan cheeses to be served with accompaniments and one hot savoury cheese.
A selection of bread and/or rolls will be provided by the venue.

You may bring ready peeled and washed vegetables, and prepared pasta or pastry, but all cutting; shaping and further preparation of these must be done during the competition – these are some of the skills on which you will be judged.

You may bring prepared stocks.

The main points on which you will be judged are:

  • The number of individual culinary skills you demonstrate.
  • Correct serving temperature of food and plates.
  • Attractive presentation.
  • Adhering to the competition criteria / timings.
  • Clean, tidy and hygienic working practices.
  • All food waste to be presented to judges

The winner will be the competitor who demonstrates the best overall professional and customer service skills on the day.

Further details of the dishes to be produced will be given when the closing date has passed.

The following awards will be made:

  • Best Food Service
  • Runners up – Kitchen Team and Waiter/Waitress
  • Best Team – Kitchen Team and Waiter/Waitress
  • Best Food




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