The Brakes Student Chef Guide to Student Cooking

Have you heard of the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge? Well, it’s a leading culinary competition open to teams of full-time hospitality or catering college students – so they know their stuff about food and young people. We invited them to write a Blog post about students and cooking, offering their view and advice which we hope you find helpful! So, what are you waiting for – be inspired to get in the kitchen!


Students have traditionally gained something of a reputation for their lack of culinary prowess. Stories of burnt fish finger sandwiches, Pot Noodles and boil-in-the-bag suppers are as bountiful as the kebabs eaten on a Friday night.

However there are a growing number of young gourmands who are realising that taking an interest in food is not only good for the taste buds, but can help improve sustainability, keep individuals healthy – and improve their love lives!

Cheap and cheerful
Traditionally, students have blamed lack of funds for their poor cooking skills, but good food doesn’t have to cost the earth: there are many nutritious and delicious dishes that can be whipped up in the kitchens of student houses across the country – without breaking the bank., for example, is packed full of innovative recipe ideas and even uses some of the traditional ingredients associated with student meals (tuna, pasta, jacket potatoes), all prepared and packaged in an interesting and mouth-watering way. Take tuna-stuffed spuds, for example: cheap, quick and they taste delicious!

Ok, so that might not sound that inspiring, but with a different selection of equally cheap ingredients, you can turn rice, peas and mushrooms into a tasty risotto or broccoli, tomatoes, baby corn and pasta into vegetable lasagne. Food doesn’t have to be boring – all it takes is a little inspiration and imagination et voila!

Cooking to impress
If you really want to push the boat out – and impress your friends or the opposite sex – then why not try something a little bit more difficult but still achievable on a student budget and in a student kitchen? Chevre au Chaud might sound like a dance craze but it’s actually a very simple, yet sophisticated salad that comes from the Franco-Suisse border. Quick, easy, cost-effective cooking that will have your friends believing you’re the next Jamie Oliver.

Get entering!
Speaking of which, budding Olivers and Gordon Ramsey’s are currently taking part in the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge, a culinary challenge for catering and hospitality student chefs nationwide. This year’s theme ‘Best of British’ is challenging each team to stay true to traditions whilst giving them enough of a culinary twist so to ensure their creative flair shines through. The judges are expecting great things – and not a Pot Noodle in sight!

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