Nathanael Dixon wins Le Cordon Bleu London’s UK Scholarship Award 2017

The  Staff Canteen

Nathanael Dixon was announced as the winner of Le Cordon Bleu London’s UK Scholarship Award 2017 at an awards ceremony earlier today.

The UK Scholarship Award, which aims to celebrate the evolution of the UK food scene, is now in its sixth year. The prize - worth over £35,000 - includes a place on Le Cordon Bleu London’s prestigious Grand Diplôme, with nine months of comprehensive training in both pâtisserie and cuisine. In addition to this, winner Nathanael will undertake a three-month internship at Virgilio Martinez’s Michelin-starred restaurant LIMA London, under the watchful eye of executive head chef Robert Ortiz. Luxury accommodation will also be provided for him courtesy of Homes for Students.

>>> Related: Robert Ortiz, Lima, London

Nathanael said: “I’m totally overwhelmed but absolutely ecstatic. I’m hugely excited to come down to London, to be a part of Le Cordon Bleu and to be an ambassador for the school. Today was hard, I really didn’t expect to win as there was such good competition but I think I scraped through!”  

Today, twelve finalists went head-to-head in a ‘cook-off’ at Le Cordon Bleu London, where they watched a demonstration from Academic Director Loic Malfait before being challenged to create their own savoury tarts. Combining elements of cuisine and pâtisserie, the finalists were being judged not only on their culinary abilities but also on their teamwork and ability to take direction.

Loic said: “It’s about how they behave in the kitchen, how they respond to the pressure and how passionate they are. The attitude is the most important thing. In the industry now, chefs want someone with a good attitude and responsibility. We’re looking for hungry people, people who really want to do it. It’s about the whole picture, from the interview to now. They’ve all done a great job.”

Le Cordon Bleu London UK Scholarship Award 2017

Le Cordon Bleu London

UK Scholarship Award 2017

One of the judges for the competition was Julie Walsh, head pâtisserie chef at Le Cordon Bleu.

Julie said: “The points are awarded based on how the candidates react to questions, how attentive they are and how able they are to communicate with the rest of the group. To be a good student and to take knowledge, you need to share ideas.”

She added: “It’s been a very interesting group of people who applied this year. Many of the candidates this year have their hand in the culinary fire already. Not necessarily working as chefs but there’s two of them who organise pop-ups just because they love to share ideas and their ethos of food. We also had a couple of candidates who were very into the ecology of farming and food poverty and it was interesting to hear how they would challenge the status quo and fix the imbalance that we have. That’s something that we support and to see it in students just starting out, it’s really inspiring.”

All twelve finalists were awarded a Certificate of Attendance at the Awards Ceremony and this year also saw the introduction of second and third place prizes. Jake Barwood and Tobi Akingbolagun won a place on the Basic Cuisine Certificate and Basic Pâtisserie Certificate courses, respectively.

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For more information about Le Cordon Bleu London's UK Scholarship Award, see:

>>> Related: Keiron George Murphy wins Le Cordon Bleu London’s UK Scholarship Award 2016

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st June 2017

Nathanael Dixon wins Le Cordon Bleu London’s UK Scholarship Award 2017