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25th Roux Scholarship

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For those interested in the Roux Scholarship, here are the details from the press release:

The 2008 Roux Scholarship is now open to entries and the Roux family has announced that this, the 25th anniversary, will see the largest prize pot in the history of the competition. In addition to the coveted three month stage at a three-star Michelin establishment, and other parts of the Scholar’s prize, the cash element has increased to £5,000 for the winner and £1,000 for each of the remaining five finalists.

Entrants this year are required to submit* an original recipe to serve four people, using two fresh lemon sole (500 to 600 gms each), cooked and served either whole or in fillet, accompanied by two garnishes - one of which must be potato.

“We chose lemon sole because it is abundantly available in the early part of the year, it is highly versatile and is not being over-fished,” says Michel Roux, OBE, co-chairman of the judges, “It should allow plenty of scope for creativity and we look forward to seeing the entries, and tasting some of them at the regional finals in March.”

The 2008 judging panel is augmented by Tracey MacLeod, restaurant critic for the Independent magazine, who joins as guest judge. She joins Michel and Albert, their respective sons Alain and Michel junior, Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Fairlie - the first Roux Scholar - David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes and Brian Turner.

Current Scholar Armand Sablon is currently on his stage at Auberge de l'Ill in Alsace , where he is working under the supervision of Marc Haeberlin and he will return to Galvin at Windows at the end of this year.

As well as the £5,000 cash prize, the 2008 Roux Scholar will enjoy a three month stage at a three-starred Michelin establishment courtesy of The Savoy Educational Trust, trips to Italy to visit Caffe Musetti, courtesy of L’Unico and Champagne courtesy of Champagne Gosset, as well as a week in New York with Restaurant Associates, in addition to other prizes. The other five national finalists will each win £1000 to be used to further their culinary skills, again courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust, as well as other prizes from the supporting companies.

*Full entry details plus footage of previous competitions, further details on prizes, past scholars and judges can be found by visiting www.rouxscholarship.co.uk .

The entry form can also be downloaded from the site. The closing date for entries is Friday 18 January 2008.

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  • 3 months later...

Below is the press release announcing the regional finalists of the 2008 Roux Scholarship

The judges have announced the line-up for the regional finals for this year’s Roux Scholarship – the 25th anniversary of the competition. There will be a total of 19 young chefs competing for a place in the finals, four of whom have been national finalists before. The judges were overwhelmed by the number of entries this year – well over 50 per cent higher than before.

“The quality of entries was better than usual, and we were delighted with the level of response.” said Michel Roux, co-chairman of the judging panel. “Lemon sole was an easier and more popular choice than last year’s veal kidneys, and entries ranged from the very simple to the extremely sophisticated.

“It was interesting to see that many of the recipes submitted involved filleting the fish – showing strong consumer appeal, but rather sad to see when a beautiful fish like lemon sole tastes so delicious when cooked on the bone. However, most entrants who did fillet the fish used the bones for stock, in order to extract maximum flavour. And, of course, the filleting process will allow them to demonstrate their knife skills at the regional finals!”

This year’s line up includes: four past national finalists, all of whom were in last year’s final (Stephen Stevens, currently at Mill House Hotel in Oxford; Matthew Wilkinson now at Martha & Vincent in Ilkley, Andrew Wilson of Gregg’s Restaurant in Sevenoaks, and Christopher Golding now at Nahm Restaurant at the Halkin Hotel, London), three past regional finalists (Daniel Cox of the fine dining division of Compass Group; Ryan Simpson of Winteringham Fields and Alistair Dale of law firm Ince & Co). It also sees four contestants with strong links to Roux Scholars: Kevin Tew of Galvin at Windows, which already boasts two Roux Scholars; Adam Pierson of Claridge’s (Andrew Jones) Ryan Simpson who formerly worked for Simon Hulstone and Irishman Kenneth Culhane who trained under James Carberry at Dublin Institute of Technology. In addition, Ryan Mcfarland of the Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne, is in the brigade of past national finalist Brett Sutton. “We are proud of the importance that Roux Scholars and past entrants place on the competition and how this enthusiasm is passed to their colleagues.” adds Michel Roux.

As usual, the first part of the judging was "blind": the judges did not have any idea whose recipe they judged – the finalists are selected purely on the merit of their initial submission. “We are looking forward to tasting the recipes at the regional finals and seeing so many familiar faces of past competitors determined to try again.” he adds.

Other contestants to win through are: Kenneth Culhane of The Queen’s Club, London; Anton Scoones from the De Vere Oulton Hall, Leeds; Jonathan Hayes of the Copthorne Hotel in Cardiff; Canadian Cameron Rutherford from Chewton Glen; Robert Barham from The Stafford Hotel in London; Frank Gigas from The Gleneagles Hotel; Robert Stephens of The Millenium Hotel Mayfair; Mark Birchall from L’Enclume and last, but by no means least, Stephen Thompson from 114 The Arch in Pudsey

The regional heats will take place concurrently on March 6 at Birmingham College of Food and Thames Valley University . The contestants will cook their lemon sole dish as originally submitted and be asked to prepare a dessert from a list of ingredients given to them on the day. The best six competitors will be selected to go through to the National Final, which takes place at on March 31 at Westminster Kingsway College and the result will be announced at the awards ceremony at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London a few weeks later.

This year's judging panel comprises Albert and Michel Roux, chairman of the judges, their respective sons Michel Junior and Alain, Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes, David Nicholls , Heston Blumenthal and Andrew Fairlie. Guest judge is restaurant critic and broadcaster Tracey MacLeod.

The Roux Scholar not only wins the renowned three month stage at a 3-star Michelin establishment, plus £5,000 cash, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust, which is to be used to enhance his culinary education. As well as numerous prizes from supporting companies, he also receives a week’s paid work-experience in New York, courtesy of Restaurant Associates; an expenses paid trip including travel and overnight accommodation to visit the wine cellars of Champagne Gosset at Aÿ, and a trip for two to visit the Caffé Musetti roasting factory in Milan. The Scholar also becomes a member of the elite Roux Scholars Club, which meets on a regular basis for education trips and events, offers special privileges to members and forms a unique networking opportunity.

Each national finalist wins a cheque for £1,000 to further their education, a day’s butchery course, courtesy of Fairfax Meadow, an engraved commemorative saucier from All-Clad, sets of knives from Global plus a year’s complimentary membership of the Institute of Hospitality .

In addition to the aforementioned supporters, the Roux Scholarship is also kindly supported by a number of other companies including British Airways, Castello Monte Vibiano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Direct Seafoods, Fruisana Fruit Sugar, L’Unico, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Winterbourne Charitable Trust and Yes Chef! magazine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations to the following, who will compete in the Regional Finals on March 6:

Robert Barham The Stafford Hotel, London

Mark Birchall L’Enclume, Cartmel

Daniel Cox Compass Group

Kenneth Culhane The Queen’s Club, London

Alastair Dale Ince & Co

Frank Gigas The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder

Christopher Golding Nahm Restaurant, London

Jonathan Hayes Copthorne Hotel Cardiff

Ryan Mcfarland The Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

Adam Peirson Claridge’s

Cameron Rutherford Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

Anton Scoones De Vere Oulton Hall, Leeds

Ryan Simpson Winteringham Fields, Lincs

Robert Stephens Millenium Hotel Mayfair

Stephen Stevens Mill House Hotel, Oxon

Kevin Tew Galvin at Windows

Stephen Thompson 114 The Arch Restaurant, Pudsey

Matthew Wilkinson Martha & Vincent in Ilkley

Andrew Wilson Gregg’s Restaurant. Sevenoaks

The quest for perfection will lead you to role models that will last you for life (Nico Ladenis)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The latest details on the Roux Scholarship, here's the press release:


Following the simultaneous regional finals at the end of last week, six national finalists have been selected for this, the 25th Roux Scholarship. Two past finalists have won through – Christopher Golding of Nahm, and Matthew Wilkinson of Martha & Vincent in Ilkley. They will be joined at Westminster Kingsway College on March 31 by Daniel Cox from the fine dining division of Compass Group (based at UBS) Adam Peirson of Claridge’s, Ryan Simpson of Winteringham Fields and last, but by no means least, Kevin Tew from Galvin at Windows. (which already boasts two Roux Scholars in its brigade).

The regional finals took place at University College Birmingham and Thames Valley University . The finalists prepared their recipes for lemon sole, which had been their original entry requirement. They were also asked to produce a dessert from a box of ingredients given to them on the day itself – these ingredients included coconut, gelatine, eggs, dark chocolate, double cream, sugar and fresh raspberries.

The standard this year was exceptionally high – not only with the lemon sole recipes but particularly with the desserts – demonstrating true innovation and technical skills. Alain Roux was constantly on the phone from Birmingham to his cousin Michel Roux junior (at TVU) to monitor progress and compare notes. Commenting on the cook off Alain Roux said: “We both felt that the presentation this year was well above average. The competitors have, of course, had plenty of time to practise their lemon sole recipe and perfect it. But when we saw the standard of desserts produced – with minimal time for planning and in the tense atmosphere of the regional finals – we were most impressed.”

Eventually they chose two from the Birmingham heat (where they had eight) and four from London (where there were 11). “Those who were selected showed real potential, especially for this stage of the competition. All the judges agreed that all the candidates were a true credit to their respective establishments,“ adds Michel Roux junior, who was assisted by Andrew Fairlie and Steve Drake, the 2001 Scholar.

This year’s guest judge Tracey MacLeod, who judged at Birmingham alongside Brian Turner and Alain Roux, commented: "All the dishes we tasted were worthy of first class restaurants. We have seen some plates which looked amazing, with a huge amount of attention paid to the visual presentation. However the competitors we sent through to the finals were those who struck the best balance between the flavours delivered and the visual presentation."

The National Finals at Westminster Kingsway College will be judged by the full judging panel* and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park a few weeks later.

*The full judging panel for this year is: Michel Roux; Albert Roux; Michel Roux junior; Alain Roux; Heston Blumenthal; Andrew Fairlie; David Nicholls; Gary Rhodes; Brian Turner and guest judge Tracey MacLeod.

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  • 1 month later...

And the winner is:

Daniel Cox, a 26 year old who works for the fine dining division of Compass Group at UBS in London. He trained at Westminster Kingsway College, then joined the brigade of The Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair before moving into contract catering, which led to his current position with Compass Group’s fine dining division, where he has been head chef for client UBS for the last two years. This was his third attempt at the competition. He was a regional finalist twice before.

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