Eighteen Regional Roux Scholarship Finalists Accounced
Following a meeting of the judges, Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr have announced the regional finalists for the 2016 Roux Scholarship competition.
The regional finals will be held simultaneously on Thursday 17th March 2016
They will take place at University College Birmingham and University of West London, Ealing.
The chefs competing in Birmingham:
Joe Bailey, Greenway Hall Golf Club, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Ben Champkin, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
Harry Guy, Eden Hotel Collection, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Adam Harper, Fischer’s, Baslow Hall, Baslow, Derbyshire
Thomas Moody, Lower Slaughter Manor, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire
David Scarpato, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales
Judges are: Michel Roux Jr, André Garrett (2002 scholar) and Steve Love (1997 scholar).
The chefs competing in London:
Greg Anderson, Morston Hall, Nr Holt, Norfolk
Martin Carabott, The Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London
Gregory Clarke, Midsummer House, Midsummer Common, Cambridge
Michael Cruickshank, The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu, Hampshire
Scott Dineen, Goldman Sachs, (BaxterStorey), London
Luke Fouracre, The Royal Oak Paley Street, Nr Maidenhead, Berkshire
Paul Matthews, Fieldfisher, (Vacherin), London
Dimitrios Papapanagioutou, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire
Tim Peirson, Kensington Place, Kensington Church St, London
Jozef Rogulski, The Stafford Hotel, St James’s Place, London
Adam Thomason, Deloitte, (Restaurant Associates), London
Michael Thompson, Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair, London
Judges are: Alain Roux, Andrew Fairlie, David Nicholls, Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar).
2016 was another strong year for entries. 11 of the 18 finalists are from restaurants outside London. Again many chefs have passed through the kitchens of previous Roux scholars, demonstrating the spirit of the Roux legacy in action.
Facts about the finalists:
- Scott Dineen, was in last year’s final. Luke Fouracre, Harry Guy and Jozef Rogulski competed in last year’s regional finals.
- Fourteen chefs are brand new to the competition this year.
- Three competitors are from contract catering companies.
- Simon Rogan continues his strong association with the competition; two finalists from his restaurants made the regional final. Ben Champkin, works for Tom Barnes, (2014 scholar) at L’Enclume and Michael Thompson, works for Dan Cox (2008 scholar) at Fera at Claridge’s.
- Dimitrios Papapanagioutou, works for André Garret at Cliveden and Michael Cruickshank, works for Matthew Tomkinson (2005 scholar) at The Montagu Arms Hotel.
This year’s challenge is to create a recipe to serve four people using, one whole fresh Pollock (otherwise known as coley or saithe), gutted, weighing anywhere between 1.5 –1.75kg (maximum 2kg) and 600g live whole cockles; together served plated and accompanied by two garnishes. One garnish must include button mushrooms and the other to be a garnish of your choice. One of these garnishes can be served separately if preferred. A sauce must accompany the dish.
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.
National final – Monday 4th April 2016
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 2016 Roux Scholar will be announced at an awards ceremony held at The Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London the same evening.
Quotes from the judges
Michel Roux Jr
“This year we have an interesting mix of French classics and some modern interpretations. I’m pleased to see lots of imaginative ways to prepare Pollock, that I’m looking forward to tasting.”
“It was great to have the input from our new scholar judges this year. André and Simon have great knowledge of the classics and understand the latest trends and techniques at the forefront of modern cooking. They shared the perspective of what it’s like from a competitor’s point of view and this kept the judging lively and fresh.”
“There was a mix of standards in the entries this year. Some chefs underestimate the importance of the written entry. Some good dishes may have been rejected because the recipes weren’t presented and described in a way that helps us picture the final dish – that’s a shame!”
“A challenge was given and it was reassuring to see how many rose to the challenge – now for the tasting, the real test!”
“There were some common themes of brining, water baths and the use of dashi as a stock. What stood out for me was how differently these techniques were applied in the recipes. I’m curious to see what the effect will be on the taste and texture of the Pollock.”
“There were some interesting recipes showing off good skills. I’m looking forward to tasting them alongside the desserts. This is about the whole package and I wonder if some chefs have considered the time they’ll need for their mystery box dessert. A good dessert can transform an average main course!”
The Roux Scholarship is kindly sponsored by a number of companies including: Aubrey Allen, Bridor, Cactus TV, The Caterer, Direct Seafoods, Global Knives, Hildon Natural Mineral Water, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, L’Unico Caffe Musetti, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Mash Purveyors Ltd, Restaurant Associates and Udale Speciality Foods Ltd.
More details about this year’s competition, the judges and our sponsors are available on our new website – www.rouxscholarship.co.uk