Veg City Challenge

Calling all caterers and chefs: are you up for an exciting challenge to help inspire teens and young adults to eat more veg?  


Our Veg City Challenge will bring together the best in the food industry to create an innovative grab’n’go recipe that is packed with veg to satisfy some of the pickiest audiences.

Caterers are asked to prepare a recipe using the following criteria against which they will be scored:

  • Include at least two types of veg
  • Low cost to produce
  • Easy to make and sell at volume / scalable
  • Must be portable/grab’n’go
  • Minimal packaging used – no plastic please (Read more re reducing plastic here)
  • Appealing to teens/young adults
  • Recipe must be shareable with local and national networks

All the chefs and caterers taking part will receive positive PR. The winning recipe can be championed and trialled at secondary schools, venues and food outlets across the city. Part of the Veg City Challenge will be to inspire other caterers, so all the veg-packed recipes will be made available and promoted locally and nationally so that everyone can benefit from them.


Why are we doing this?

In 2017, Brighton & Hove City Council made a joint pledge with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership (BHFP) to become a pioneer Veg City. There are now multiple activities going on across the city to help everyone to eat more veg. Nationally, 80% of children and 95% of teenagers are not eating enough veg. Locally, inequalities exist: fewer than 50% of 8-11 year-old pupils from the most deprived areas eat their five-a-day compared with over 90% in the least deprived areas.

Secondary schools and colleges have an important role to play in the daily diet of their pupils. But we’ve seen that they have extremely limited space and time to feed growing numbers of pupils, so grab’n’go options have become the snack/lunch of choice, with sausage rolls, pizza slices and bacon baguettes often being the most popular. Catering for large volumes is also significant at the Brighton & Hove Albion football stadium with over 11,500 pies being sold on a match day.


The competition: how to enter

Are you up for the challenge? You don’t have to be a large-scale caterer to participate, however, the recipe needs to be easy to make and sell at volume, so some knowledge of a commercial kitchen might help.

  1. Please email to register your interest to enter as soon as possible
  2. Please complete the application form and email it along with your costed recipe (including any costs of packaging) to by midday Wednesday 23rd October 2019. Unfortunately, late entries cannot be included.
  3. Entrants will be notified via email as to whether they have been shortlisted or not by Friday 25th October 2019
  4. The cook-off competition will take place in the Community Kitchen on Wednesday 6th November 2019 (between 9am-1pm – exact timing TBC) and the winner will be announced on the day.
  5. Recipes will be judged on taste, ease of eating and portability

We are absolutely delighted that top chef, Michael Bremner from 64 Degrees / Murmur will be on our judging panel along with Nicole Pisani, ex head chef at top London restaurant, Nopi, now School Chef at Gayhurst Primary and Founder of Chefs in Schools. They join leading national hospitality and catering expert, Julie Barker. The panel will also include pupils from secondary schools and a nutritionist. They will be judging on taste, ease of eating and portability. The winner will be announced on the day.

We are also keen to have commitments from a range of schools, colleges, venues and other food outlets across the city to trial the winning recipe and receive the collection of recipes following the competition. So if you aren’t able to get involved in the competition itself, please contact us to pledge your commitment to trial the recipes in your organisation.

Please contact for further details and to register your interest.


Gold Food City Bid

This challenge and other important food work going on across the city is part of the bid to become a Gold Sustainable Food City. Join in the conversation on social media using #goldfoodcitybid


Share this:

You may also be interested in: