By Angela Green, Content Executive: The Roux Scholarship announce 18 finalists for 2023.
As the regional finalists for the Roux Scholarship 2023 are announced, chairmen Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr are delighted that a diverse group of talented young chefs have qualified for the next round of the competition.
This year 12 of the 18 finalists are new to the competition and they hail from hotels, pubs, private member’s clubs, and contract catering businesses in all four countries of the United Kingdom.
Following a push for more diversity at the launch of this year’s competition, with the Round Table discussion and publication of the White Paper, Women Chefs and The Roux Scholarship, the Roux Family were delighted to see an increase in applications from female chefs with four qualifying for the regional finals.
The 18 chefs, and two reserves, were selected from their written recipes that used striploin of dry-aged beef, a beef offal ingredient, and Belgian chicory. They were submitted anonymously to the judges, who took part in the Recipe Judging day at Roux at The Waterside Inn on 22nd February 2023.
The 18 finalists will compete in two regional finals which will be held simultaneously on Thursday 9th March 2023 at University College Birmingham and University of West London, Ealing.
THE CHEFS COMPETING IN LONDON:
- Nicole Benham-Corlette, Boathouse 4 Restaurant, Portsmouth
- Aaron Blais, The Ritz, London
- Jack Cannell, The Tytherleigh Arms, Axminster
- Ben Champkin, The Newt, Somerset
- Harry Donnelly, The RAF Club, London
- Oliver Dovey, Baxterstorey, London
- Sam Lomas, Glebe House, Devon
- Subhan Malik, The Beaumonth Hotel, London
- Lucila Mattiauda, Seven Park Place by William Drabble, London
- April Lily Partridge, The Ledbury, London
- Ryan Porter, The Double Red Duke, Cotswolds
- Yogesh Singh Yadav, The May Fair, London
Judges: Michel Roux Jr, Brian Turner CBE, André Garrett, Rachel Humphrey, Clare Smyth MBE, Angela Hartnett OBE.
THE CHEFS COMPETING IN BIRMINGHAM:
- Christopher Clarke, Core by Clare Smyth, London
- Max Davies, Aizle, Edinburgh
- Ruth Hansom, Swinton Estate, North Yorkshire
- Steven Newton Coast Restaurant, Saundersfoot, Wales
- Alexander Rothnie, L’Enclume, Cumbria
- Dillon Smyth, Baloo Inns Ltd, Newtownards, Northern Ireland
Judges: Alain Roux, James Martin, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar).
There are two chefs in reserve (should any finalists not be able to compete):
- Kamil Nowak, The Dysart Petersham, Surrey
- George Ormond, Murano, London
This year’s challenge was to create a recipe with a striploin of dry-aged Heritage beef (without bones), weighing between 800g – 900g cooked and served either whole or in multiple cuts. In addition, they were asked to use one beef offal (not veal) ingredient, either heart, tongue, or kidney; together plated with two simple or composed garnishes/accompaniments. One of them had to include chicory (Belgian endive) and the other could be a garnish/accompaniment of the contestant’s choice. One of these could be served separately, if the applicant preferred. A sauce had to 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.
Reviewing the entries Alain Roux commented: “It’s great to see that our regional finalists come from all over the UK and a variety of different establishments. Regarding the recipes, I’m pleased to see so many chefs choose to cook the ox heart as part of their recipes, I really like that ingredient. In general, there was a really high standard and I can’t wait to taste everything.”
The paper applications are judged blind, so judges don’t know the applicants’ identity, place of work, or any other details other than the recipe.
Five finalists have competed in the finals before: Ben Champkin (2016, 2018, 2020/21), Harry Donnelly (2022), Oliver Dovey (2019, 2020/21, 2022), Ruth Hansom (2022), Steven Newton (2022) and Ryan Porter (2018).
There are four female chefs competing in the regional finals, including Ruth Hansom who competed in 2022, plus three chefs who are new to the competition, Nicole Benham-Corlette, Lucila Mattiauda and April Lily Partridge. This follows a Round Table discussion and publication of the White Paper, Women Chefs and The Roux Scholarship.
As well as looking at how enticing the recipes were, and the best use of ingredients, the judges were looking at cooking timings of the dishes and whether the chefs had allowed time to prepare the mystery box dessert in the regional finals.
Kitchen Porters Club Job of the Week, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane