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Looking for the best public sector cooks in Scotland

Looking for the best public sector cooks in Scotland

2023 Scottish Culinary Championships

Public sector cooks are invited to enter the 2023 Scottish Culinary Championships, with Food for Life Scotland sponsoring a competition class for the very first time. The Food for Life Scotland Challenge will showcase and celebrate the fantastic chefs working in Scotland’s public sector and shine a light on some of the great food being served in Scotland’s schools, hospitals, colleges, and universities.  

The Scottish Culinary Championships are a highlight of ScotHot, a leading showcase for the food and drink; and hospitality industry. After several years off due to Covid 19, ScotHot is making an eagerly anticipated return to Glasgow’s SEC on 8-9 March 2023. The show is a great opportunity to network, meet suppliers and celebrate chefs and caterers. 

At Food for Life Scotland, we are passionate about supporting and celebrating public sector chefs and strongly believe that many school, hospital or further education cooks can easily hold their own at the culinary championship.  As such, we want the Food for Life Scotland Challenge to demonstrate this and challenge outdated perceptions of what public sector food looks like in Scotland today. With the Good Food Nation Act having recently passed into law and placed public sector cooks at the forefront of improving the nation’s food system, it is important that this sector is given the recognition it deserves.  

The class is open to chefs working in the public sector and invites entrants to prepare a main course that would be appropriate in a public sector setting. The dish must comply with a number of criteria inspired by the standards of the Food for Life Served Here award. These include using at least one organic ingredient, using less but better meat, and highlighting seasonal and local produce. The Food for Life Scotland team would also be happy to discuss the challenge and our standards further with anyone interested in taking part.  

We strongly encourage interested public sector cooks to put themselves forward for this exciting career opportunity. Entrants will have the chance to represent their institutions and raise the profile of the sector.  

Competition Entry and Rules 

Candidates are asked to make two portions of a main meal suitable for their public sector setting and to the following criteria:

  • Use at least one (1) organic product
  • Highlight seasonal and local products
  • Showcase healthy dishes
  • Strive to use less but better meat, utilising non-meat proteins
  • Animal welfare standards to meat, fish, eggs use: farm assured meat (QMS, RSPCA, etc), free range eggs, MSC 'Fish to Eat'.

Competitors can enter the Food for Life Challenge here. Entries must be accompanied by a brief description of the main course dish you plan to make with any allergens highlighted. 

The entry fee has been sponsored by Food for Life Scotland. Competitors will be provided with a Food for Life Scotland apron to wear over their uniform. 

Competitors will need to provide their own ingredients. Work stations will feature a 6-ring burner, oven and grill, electricity points, hand wash sink and adequate work space – any other equipment must be brought by the competitor.

With stretched public sector budgets, Food for Life Scotland wants to support public sector caterers who would like to participate. Please get in touch with Sarah Gowanlock, to discuss how we can support, including if you need any support in accessing ingredients or equipment.