Street Food Chef of the Year

Street Food Chef of the Year

The Street Food Chef of the Year is back, and the competition showcase culinary flair, expertise and knowledge to deliver a vegetarian, chicken and a sustainable fish dish for two covers, based around the popular street food theme.

Entry for the 2016 competition is now closed, but why not come and support your colleagues by attending the competition?   Entry is free of charge, TUCO members click here to book your place and suppliers wishing to attend please click here.


The competition is open to all TUCO member universities and colleges, from junior to sous chefs. Each competitor is required to create a menu for consideration.

Eight finalists will be chosen from the entries to go forward to the live cook off on Monday 21 March at the University of Warwick.

This year sees a huge development in our live cooking competitions, with the introduction of our suite of temporary kitchens created just for this event.  An audience will be able to watch as our eight kitchen stations cook the food in front of them.  Equipment provided in the kitchens include; 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.

Last years' Street Food Chef of the Year James Tudor of Keele University gives his reflection of the competition, "The competition is great and it's a great couple of days watching all of the different competitions going on as well.  It was absolutely amazing.  It was such a buzz coming back home with the trophy.".


Competition task

Each competitor will be required to deliver a vegetarian, chicken and a sustainable fish dish for two covers, based around the street food theme.  These dishes must be cooked live, from scratch, within the 2 hour competition period and be presented in suitable disposable street food style containers.

 Prizes will be presented to one winner and two runners up at the awards evening on Tuesday 22nd March 2016.

This is an open competition however there is an option for competitors, if they wish, to use the Major product ranges as part of their dish/dishes in the categories sustainable Fish, Vegetarian and Chicken.

Competitors may use any of the following Major product ranges. Mari-Bases, Barbecue, Bombay, Fajita, Piri Piri, Oriental, Tandoori, Caribbean Jerk, Moroccan, Honey Lemon & Mustard, Thai & Mediterranean. Pan Asian Broths Beef, Chicken, Vegetable, Hickory & Applewood, Stock Base Powders; Beef, Chicken, Vegetable & Fish.
Major International will supply samples to competitors on request and are available by contacting Stephen Smith National Account Manager mobile 07736 020427 or by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The use of these products will not form part of the scoring procedure.


Competition Rules

Each finalist will be allowed two hours to prepare their dishes.

You must prepare a vegetarian dish, chicken dish and a sustainable fish dish.

Dishes can be served as soon as they are ready, in any order.  Points will be deducted for dishes served after the allocated time of two hours.

Three dishes for two covers 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.

Suitable street food style disposable containers to present the dishes are to be provided by the competitors’.  Food served in any other containers will not be judged.

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 Sunday evening there is refrigerated storage available.  Details will be provided.

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. Mise En Place (MEP) is not allowed in advance of the competition, with the exception of pre-marinading meats or fish if desired. Root 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 street food.  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.

If you have any queries regarding your entry or booking please call the TUCO Competitions team on 0344 571 8208 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Advertising Opportunities: Dan Hillman

t: 0345 500 6008 e:

TUCO Magazine Editor: Morag Wilson

t: 01474 520 267 e:

Contact Us

The University Caterers Organisation Ltd

20 Dale Street


M1 1EZ

t: 0161 713 3420 e: