Earlier today Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr revealed the regional finalists for the 2018 Roux Scholarship competition. Eighteen chefs were selected from their paper application and written recipe. The Eighteen finalists will compete in two regional finals which will be held simultaneously at University College Birmingham and University of West London, Ealing on Thursday 8th March 2018.
THE CHEFS COMPETING IN BIRMINGHAM:
- Aaron Lawrence, Gilpin Lodge, Cumbria
- Samuel Nash, L’Enclume, Cumbria
- Daniel Parker, House of Tides, Newcastle
- Ryan Porter, Northcote, Lancashire
- Kelvin Tan, Sat Bains, Nottingham
- Ricki Weston, Sat Bains, Nottingham
THE CHEFS COMPETING IN LONDON:
- Greg Anderson, Morston Hall, Norfolk
- Sven-Hanson Britt, Miele GB, Oxfordshire
- Martin Carabott, 85 Piccadilly, London
- Ben Champkin, L’Enclume, Cumbria
- Michael Cruickshank, Bohemia, Jersey
- Richard Giles, Sorrel, Surrey
- Kamil Jedrzejewski, Hilton, York
- Daniel Lines, Restaurant Associates (KPMG), London
- Oliver Marlow, Roganic, London
- Karl O’Dell, Petrus, London
- Drew Snaith, Mare Street Market, London
- Fergus Wilford, Cliveden House, Berkshire
This year’s challenge
This year’s challenge was to create a recipe to serve four people using two whole gilthead sea bream (Daurade Royale), weighing anywhere between 600g-800g each (maximum 1kg) and one variety of mollusc of your liking (shellfish with a hard, non-edible shell); together served plated with two ‘simple’ or ‘composed’ garnishes/accompaniments.
One must include green globe artichokes and the other to be a garnish of your choice. One of these can be served separately if preferred. A sauce must accompany the dish. For the regional final, competitors will have 2½ hrs to cook their dish, along with a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients given to them on the day. The judges will be looking for recipes and methods, which demonstrate the best balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish.
Reflecting on this year’s submissions Michel Roux Jr told us:
“Some of the recipes were absolutely amazing but unfortunately some of the costings were really not up to scratch. Young chefs have to understand that the costings are very important and business acumen is something that chefs have to learn. No female entrants made it through to the cook-off stage, which is sad, but we will keep on pushing that and with our new judges Clare, Rachel and Angela we hope to inspire more female chefs to apply next year.”
Looking forward to the regional finals Alain Roux said:
“There was a lot of thought and imagination in the recipes and the chefs brought their personality into the dishes. When it comes to cooking the recipes at the regional finals, some will find the time frame a bit challenging, bearing mind that they’ll also have a dessert to create.”
A new judge this year but no stranger to competitions, Clare Smyth was impressed saying:
“It’s such a high level of entries and it’s great to get the other judges’ point of view on things. I’ve always watched the Roux Scholarship and I’ve worked with last year’s winner Luke Selby and Ian Scaramuzza (2015). The chef who wins the scholarship will be a big name in the future.”
Birmingham Judges: Alain Roux, Brian Turner, James Martin, André Garrett (2002 scholar) and Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar).
London Judges: Michel Roux Jr, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), Andrew Fairlie (Head Scholar, 1984), Angela Hartnett, Rachel Humphrey and Clare Smyth.
Finalists Aaron Lawrence, Ben Champkin, Martin Carabott and Richard Giles have all passed through the kitchens of a previous winner, which demonstrates the impact of the Roux legacy. Fergus Wilford is in André Garret’s brigade at Cliveden and Kelvin Tan and Ricki Weston are from Restaurant Sat Bains. This demonstrates the value and importance of chef mentors in guiding, supporting and training the ‘names’ of the future for our great industry.
National final – Monday 26th March 2018
Six winners selected from across the two regional finals will go through to the national final, which takes place at Westminster Kingsway College, London. The 35th Roux Scholar will be announced at a prestigious award ceremony at The Langham, London, that same evening.
H&C News would like to wish all the eighteen young chefs competing for The Roux Scholarship 2018 the very best of luck.