The Scottish Chefs Nespresso Professional Student Coffee Challenge – Mon 13th November 2023

Sep 7, 2023

This is a 2-hour competition open to all students in full time Catering & Hospitality college courses. The team will be made up of 3 students; two for food preparation and one for front of house.

The front of house team member:

Your task is to set the table for 4 guests in preparation of their arrival 1 hour before service. When your guests are seated you will present the Nespresso coffee menu and take their order for the first of three coffee servings. Knowledge of the selection of coffee and brand knowledge is essential as your guests will ask you some questions.


The chefs will have two hours to produce an afternoon tea selection with savouries and Nespresso pastries. A display of assorted tea-pastries of 4 different varieties, four of each 16 pieces in total with 2 products enhanced with a Nespresso flavoured pod of their choice, and two modern savoury items both to be served warm one of which MUST be vegetarian.


The judges will be looking for a well laid table with enhanced settings allowed. The front of house server must show good communication and interaction skills with their guests.

The judges will be looking for modern and traditional methods of cookery showing variation in skills. They will also be looking for hygienic working methods and food waste must be kept to a minimum.

The selection of pastries must have different technical skills and two of the four MUST include Nespresso coffee pods.

Permitted mis-en-place:

Pre blind baked tartlets
Puff pastry
Short crust pastry
Fruit peeled but not cut.
Vegetables peeled but not cut.

All equipment and ingredients MUST be provided by the participating team. This includes all tableware and settings.

Host college: Edinburgh Milton Campus

  • The closing date for entries will be 5th October and all entries to be sent to Joe Queen –
  • The final will be on Monday 13th November 2023
  • Timings on the day will be – arrival for 10am – Set up before 11.30 followed by a judge’s briefing and a start time of mid-day for a 2pm finish.
  • Judges for the day will be:
    • Joe Queen – Chair of The Scottish Chefs Culinary Committee
    • Kevin MacGillivray – International WorldChefs Accredited Judge
    • Derek Johnston – The first winner of BBC Masterchefs The Professionals
    • Donna Dawson UK Sales Manager for Nespresso
    • Laura Johnstone – Front of House manager Archerfield Estate & Golf Links


The winning college will receive a M100 single head coffee machine.

Plus the students will each receive a complimentary invite to the Scottish Culinary Team dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel on Monday 20th November where they will get to meet Michel Roux and be presented with a signed book form him.

The Federation of Chefs Scotland (FCS) was formed in June 1994 and is an organisation democratically managed by Scottish chefs for chefs. Our mission is to promote excellence in all areas of the industry in Scotland. We are active members of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), so our members are part of a global network of Chefs.