The Roux Scholarship winners: where are they now? (part 1)

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th January 2015

With the Roux Scholarship 2015 competition closing on January 30, The Staff Canteen take a look at the scholarship’s previous 31 winners.

We ask Andrew Fairlie, John Murray, René Pauvert, Richard Stuart, Ricky Perrin, Martin Hadden, Scott Hessel, Eugene Callaghan, James Carberry and Jonathan Harrison; where they chose to do their stage and about their careers since the competition. 

andrew-fairlie1-lst106958Andrew Fairlie - 1984

First ever winner of the Roux Scholarship Andrew Fairlie now judges the competition. His restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles is the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Scotland.

For his scholarship, Andrew trained with French chef Michel Guerard at Les Pres d’Eugenie, near Bordeaux. He later worked at Hotel de Crillon and various other Paris kitchens, before returning to the UK and opening his restaurant in 2001.

>>> Read more about Andrew here

John Murray - 1985John Murray

John spent his stage with Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins on the French Riviera. Having completed his three months, he was given the chance to stay there for a further three years. From there he has worked at The Dusit Thani in Thailand, restaurants The Nikko and Le Kiosk in Sydney, and been a chef consultant in California. Currently he runs the Sweet Sensation Patisserie in New South Wales, Australia, which offers a range of handmade cakes, breads and individual desserts. 

He said: "I was working at the Connaught hotel when I won the roux award. The competition gave me confidence to travel, work in new countries, to be bold and confident in myself in every aspect of life. It was a very professional competition, testing us (young chefs) to a very high standard of classic cuisine."

He added: "I owe so much to the Roux Family and I hold them all in the highest regard." chef-rene

René Pauvert - 1986

After winning his scholarship, René worked at not one but three Michelin-starred restaurants with legendary chefs Joel Robuchon, Michel Roux and Emile Jung. He worked in two 5-star London hotels - Grosvenor House Hotel and the London InterContinental Hotel – for a long time before moving to Australia in 1998. He worked at Melborne’s 5 star Sofitel Hotel before moving to Armidale, New South Wales, where he set up René on the Mews, a bistro restaurant which he continues to run to this day.  

Richard Stuart - 1987Richard Stuart

Richard Stuart chose to do his stage at L’Esperance in Vezelay, France with Marc Meneau. He went on to work with Marco Pierre White, part of the brigade that received 3 Michelin stars. More recently he has been executive chef of Mardan Palace in Antalya, Turkey, and is currently Assistant Vice President (Culinary) at Galaxy Entertainment, a hotel and casino group operating throughout Macau.  

Ricky Perrin - 1988

Ricky did his stage with Paul Bocuse at L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon. He has worked at Claridge’s and currently works at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge.

Martin HaddenMartin Hadden - 1989

Martin won the scholarship at just 19, and did his stage with Jacques Pic at Restaurant Pic in Valence, France.

He said: "It was incredible! I was just 19 when I won (the youngest winner) and working as a commis chef on the pastry section of the Arundel Arms hotel in Lifton Devon, so to be transported from that rural Devon environment into a 3 Michelin star, 150 cover restaurant in the South of France was nothing short of mind blowing and an overload of senses, flavour and quality."

He has since worked at Gidleigh Park, Chez Nico under Nico Ladenis and the Halcyon Hotel, where he was head chef. "Gidleigh Park was the first of many doors to be opened by the scholarship and the Roux family who are always supportive and genuinely interested in your career and progression," explained Martin. "Just the mention that you are a Roux Scholar gives you instant industry credibility."

He moved on to Ockenden Manor and then Priory House, being awarded a Michelin star at both. He is currently executive head chef for Historic Sussex Hotels, overseeing Ockenden Manor and two other hotels and spas. He said: "Even if you are not a ‘competition’ chef the career rewards are well worth it. To date the Roux Scholarship was the first and last competition I have entered- job done- game over."

Scott Hessel - 1990scott hessell

Scott was also 19 when he won and did his stage at Aubergine in Munich with Gault and Millau Chef of the Century, Eckart Witzigmann. He opened his own restaurant, Mustard & Punch, in Yorkshire at the age of 23. He has since run a number of restaurants and pubs, including Cafe Pacific in Huddersfield, The Old Bore in Risworth and the Carlton Bore in North Yorkshire. He is currently executive chef at Wentbridge House Hotel in West Yorkshire. eugene-callaghan  

Eugene Callaghan - 1991

Eugene chose to his stage at Lameloise in France with Jacques Lameloise. He joined Kelly’s Resort Hotel, County Wexford, Ireland in 1996, became head chef at their ‘La Marine’ bistro and is currently executive chef for the whole hotel, overseeing between 1500 and 1900 plates of food a day.

James Carberry - 1992james carberry

James did his stage with Georges Blanc at Restaurant Georges Blanc in Vonnas, eastern France, while he was running the kitchen at the Irish Electricity Supply Board ESB’s headquarters in Dublin.

He said: "Looking back now, it’s 23 years since I was at George Blanc. It was a great time in my life. I would have never thought I would get through the doors of an iconic 3 Michelin star restaurant but here I was.

"I had butterflies in my tummy wondering would I be accepted by the brigade; you know being a foreigner and not a French speaker, would I fit in? I need not have worried; everybody was great and I was looked after very well. I had a lovely place to live and I moved all around the Blanc empire and returned to Dublin with great new knowledge and skills. It really opened my eyes."

James knew he wanted to teach, so focusing on his studies after his stage, he did his 706/3 Advanced City and Guilds, followed by teacher training and a BSc in Education and Information Technology. He became a staff member at Dundalk Institute of Technology before joining the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2001 and is a lecturer at the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology.

Jonathan Harrison - 1993 Jonathan-Harrison

Jonathan went to Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo. He said: "It truly was an amazing experience. I was already working at a very high standard, but it gave me the step up to the next level, such as opportunities to do a little TV work and cook for the heads of state at the G8 summit in Birmingham."

He was appointed chef de cuisine at Birmingham’s five star Swallow Hotel and cooked for the heads of state during the 1998 G8 summit in Birmingham. He subsequently went on to become chef patron of the Sandpiper Inn in North Yorkshire, a pub which he has run with his wife since 1999. He has also demonstrated at food shows such as the International Cheese Awards and does consultancy work.

He added: "I have run my own restaurant for the last 15 years and am able to participate in the scholar trips every 2 years. It is the prize that is still giving today, so to speak."

>>> Take a look at winners Mercy Fenton, Chris Colmer, Trevor Blyth, Steve Love, Patrick Thompson, Sat Bains, Frederick Forster, Steve Drake, Andre Garrett and Simon Hulstone.  

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th January 2015

The Roux Scholarship winners: where are they now? (part 1)