The Roux Scholarship Announces Its 18 Regional Finalists for the 2018 Competition
Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr have revealed the regional finalists for the 2018 Roux Scholarship competition. These 18 chefs were selected from their paper application and written recipe.
The 18 finalists will compete in two regional finals which will be held simultaneously on Thursday 8th March 2018 at University College Birmingham and University of West London, Ealing.
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
Judges: Alain Roux, Brian Turner, James Martin, André Garrett (2002 scholar), Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar).
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
Judges: Michel Roux Jr, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), Andrew Fairlie (Head Scholar, 1984), Angela Hartnett, Rachel Humphrey, Clare Smyth.
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.
- 2018 is a very strong year for regional finalists from a wide geographic spread across the UK.
- Thirteen of the 18 finalists are from restaurants outside London. Six finalists are from the North of England.
- The style of establishments in which the finalists work is very varied, including Miele’s test kitchen, a mid-range hotel restaurant and a number of Michelin-starred establishments.
- A number of the finalists (eg. Aaron Lawrence, Ben Champkin and Martin Carabott and Richard Giles) have 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.
- Martin Carabott was in the National Final in 2016 and 2017; Michael Cruickshank was in the National Final in 2017, and regional final in 2016; Ben Champkin was in the National Final in 2016; Fergus Wilford and Daniel Lines were in the Regional Final in 2017. 12 chefs are new to the competition.
- Simon Rogan continues his strong association with the competition; three finalists, Ben Champkin and Samuel Nash from L’Enclume and Oliver Marlow from Roganic.
- The paper applications are judged blind, so judges don’t know their identity or their place of work.
- The judges felt that many written recipes were adventurous, while others were more classic in style. Most had brought their own experience and personality into the recipes, but some had not thought through their costings adequately.
QUOTES FROM THE JUDGES
Michel Roux Jr: “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.”
Alain Roux: “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.”
Angela Hartnett: “It’s a huge privilege to be back judging the Roux Scholarship. There was one entry from a female chef, and sadly she didn’t get through to the regional finals. It probably is a fair representation of the industry, given how many more men there are than women in the industry.”
Clare Smyth [new judge this year]: “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.”
Brian Turner: “It is really gratifying to see how word has spread of the Roux Scholarship and to see all the wonderful people working outside London qualify for the regional finals. From a personal point of view, I’m glad to see so many from the North of England, especially one from Yorkshire!”
James Martin: It’s interesting that when you’re judging it blind, and you don’t know who they are or where they work, that the marks for our top seven entrants are consistently good. When the names and where they work is revealed afterwards, you see what a cross-section you have. You get the usual ones who come through, but then you get new people, like the Hilton Hotel in York. It’s a great cross-section of the country, too, from Newcastle all the way down to Jersey”.
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.
The Roux Scholarship is sponsored by Aubrey Allen, The Balvenie, Bridor, Cactus TV, The Caterer, Direct Seafoods, Global Knives, Hildon Natural Mineral Water, The Langham London, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, L’Unico Caffe Musetti, Mash Purveyors Ltd, Oritain, Qatar Airways, TRUEfoods, and Udale Speciality Foods Ltd.
For more details about our sponsors visit www.rouxscholarship.co.uk