The Roux Scholarship 2016 final six: Ben Champkin

The Staff Canteen

This year's Roux Scholarship 2016 final takes place on Monday, at Westminster Kingsway College, London and there are six chefs hoping to win the prestigious title - Ben Champkin

The Staff Canteen spoke to each finalist to find out more about them, their cooking style and why they entered the competition.

Ben in kitchen low res

Name: Ben Champkin

Region: Cartmel Cumbria

Age: 23

Works at: L’Enclume

Job role: Senior Chef de Partie

Cooking background: I wanted to be a chef from a young age, I knew when I was 14 when I was pot washing in a local pub that I wanted to start getting involved with food. I took my first job at The Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne, Dorset at 16 where I trained and completed my NVQ 2 & 3 over 3 1/2 years working under the guidance of Brett Sutton and Matt Street. I then went to work for Simon Hulstone in 2012 at The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay, Devon where I furthered my cooking ability and skill. I learnt a lot about cooking and Simon was also a great influence and pushed me to be the best I could be. I currently work at Simon Rogan’s restaurant L'Enclume where I have massive support from my head chef Tom Barnes. He has given me great advice for both the regionals and now for the final.

Who or what influences you most in cooking?  I like to cook with natural ingredients and use good techniques to get the best flavour. There is a lot of respected chefs among the industry that drive my mindset to be successful myself.

How are you feeling about the Roux Scholarship? Since starting my career at 16 I always looked at the Roux Scholarship as a career goal and working for previous Roux scholars and finalists has inspired me to enter. I learnt about the history and the legacy behind this competition and the Roux family. It's been nerve wracking but on the base of competing you just get your head down and do what you have to do. But it's good to hear the feedback from the Roux’s and the other judges as they are the best in the industry. Unlike the regionals where I began practicing even before I found out I was through, there's not much I can practise for the final so I'm doing a lot of reading and going in with a positive mindset. If I'm unsuccessful this year I will keep trying, I have six more years until the age cut off.

What are your ambitions in cooking?  I want to do well in this competition and see what happens. I'd like to travel and learn as much as I can along the way.

Read more about The Roux Scholarship 2016 final six here

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd April 2016

The Roux Scholarship 2016 final six: Ben Champkin