Alongside the dates of this year’s Roux Scholarship the Roux Family have revealed the typical skills they are looking for in the next chef to be crowned ‘Roux Scholar’.
As one of the most prestigious competitions in the world, the Roux Scholarship can be the door to a world of opportunities. Yet those with their eye on the life-changing prize don’t need to be working at a Michelin-star restaurant: the Roux Family want to encourage ambitious young chefs, whatever their background, to apply. The next Roux Scholar could be anyone who has the skills, talent and drive to win, whether they work in a fine dining restaurant or village pub. With three months to go until the January 31st application deadline, they should be reassured that there is also time to learn and practise any of the skills in the list.
Chairman Michel Roux Jr said: “To be a Roux Scholar you need to have what it takes to reach the top, that’s a given, but many will be surprised to see they have the majority of these skills in their repertoire already.” As well as a flair in the kitchen, the next winner will also need to spend time practising to be competition-ready, as chairman Alain Roux said: “If you want to reach and stay at the top of your game, these are some of the key skills you need. Careful practice will help you master them to perfection and set you on your way to becoming a Roux Scholar”.
The 13 typical skills the next Roux Scholar should have mastered are as follows:
- Roast/ poach a whole fowl, whole joints on the bone, and fish on the bone
- Fillet round and flat fish
- Bone all meat
- Prepare a ‘ballotine’
- Prepare a stuffing: ‘farce fine’, coarse or gratin
- Prepare a ‘mousseline’ – protein-based mousse
- Make sweet or savoury soufflés
- Do a liaison: Roux, beurre manié and use flour, yolks, blood and liver
- Make a pastry base: puff, suet, leavened or shortcrust
- Make emulsified sauces: hollandaise, sabayon, mayonnaise
- Cook ‘à l’étouffée’ and ‘braisé’
- Cook under pressure, under judges’ gaze
- Exquisite presentation skills.
The dates for the 2019 competition are as follows:
12th November 2018: Recipe ingredients are announced and entries open.
Applications must include a written recipe using the stated ingredients and submitted electronically via the Roux Scholarship website
31st January 2019: Deadline for applications.
6th February – 28th February 2019: Blind judging of paper applications, where 18 written recipes are shortlisted based on factors including creativity, technique, seasonality, flavours.
14th March 2019: Regional finalists compete, each cooking their written recipe plus a mystery basket dessert recipe challenge. Regional finals take place at University College Birmingham and University of West London. Six national finalists shortlisted.
1st April 2019: National Final at Westminster Kingsway College, London.
Final Awards ceremony at at top London venue (TBC).
The 18 regional finalists from the 2018 competition came from a wide range of establishments, including Hilton Hotel in York, the Miele test kitchen in Abingdon and L’Enclume in Cumbria. It was won by Martin Carabott, of Hide, London, where – by coincidence – Roux Scholar 2017 Luke Selby also works.
The winner will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at a luxury venue in London, to be confirmed in due course. The event is attended by the UK’s top chefs and prestigious guests from the world of hospitality.
The judges remain the same for the 2019 competition: Alain Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Brian Turner, Andrew Fairlie (Head Scholar, 1984), Sat Bains (Scholar 1999), André Garrett (Scholar 2002), Simon Hulstone (Scholar 2003), James Martin, Clare Smyth, Rachel Humphrey and Angela Hartnett.
The Honorary President of Judges will be announced in due course.
The winner receives £6,000, to support their career development & an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months. This is as well as a host of fabulous prizes from our sponsors to be announced on 12 November 2018.
About the Roux Scholarship:
In 1984, Michel Roux founded the Roux Scholarship with his brother Albert to enable a new generation of chefs from Britain to train in the greatest restaurants in the world. Not only has it become the industry’s most acclaimed chef competition in the UK with many scholars having gone on to win Michelin stars themselves, it ranks among the most prestigious competitions for chefs in the world. Since it was established more than three decades ago, it has helped British chefs gain the international recognition they deserve. With many young chefs entering the competition each year, it is true to say thousands have been inspired, and lives changed, by the experience of competing.