The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Daniel Lee

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th March 2015

This year's Roux Scholarship 2015 final takes place on Monday, at Westminster Kingsway College, London and there are six chefs hoping to win the prestigious title - Daniel Lee

This time the recipe details are a complete surprise; 30 minutes before the start of the competition the finalists will be given the recipe and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern and asked to prepare and present it to the judges. The Staff Canteen spoke to each finalist to find out more about them, their cooking style and why they entered the competition.

Daniel Lee

Name: Daniel Lee Region: London (originally from Sheffield)

Age: 28

Works at: JP Morgan, (Aramark)  

Job role: Senior sous chef

Cooking Background: "I started as a pot wash when I was at school, I did my first year of A Levels and then I went to look around Sheffield College and the chef diploma caught my eye so that's how I got into it. I left college and went to work for a new five star Sheraton Hotel in Cork and then after a year I came to London. I worked at Sheraton Park Lane and then moved on to do the opening of Pétrus in Belgravia. From there I worked in a boutique hotel before doing two and a half years at Galvins. Then I moved to JP Morgan which is where I am now."

Cooking Influences: "The executive chef at Sheraton Park Lane, Andrew Bennett, had a massive influence on me - I was there when I was just 21 and he was a great role model. I was still fresh to the kitchen and working for him was really inspiring, he gave me a good grounding. And working for the Galvins as well, I made my biggest progression while working there. I'd spent a lot of time before that taking one step forward and two steps back, but at Galvins I started as a  chef de partie and I was third in the food chain by the time I left. "I like classic French cooking and I like simplistic food. I don't dislike modernistic cuisine but I'm not into that at all. I like to focus on the produce, simple flavour combinations and keep it as refined as possible."Daniel Lee with judges

On The Roux Scholarship: "I've always done competitions, I did the Academy of Culinary Arts - Annual Awards Of Excellence and won on my second attempt, I had the itch to do more it was just finding the right one. I've spent three years getting to this point in The Roux Scholarship so this is third time lucky! It's nervy cooking for those caliber of judges but this time I was a lot more comfortable with it. It's natural to get  star struck when you meet them and then cook for them but having experienced it before I was a bit more ready for it."

Cooking ambitions: "Like any self-respecting chef I want to run a place of my own. I'd like to own my own gastro pub, so run it and nurture it as I want to. I've not figured out the location yet, London is obviously prime for making a profit if you get it right but I prefer the sound of a little country foodie pub that people come from afar to try out your food."

>>> We talk to more Roux Scholarship 2015 finalists here 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 26th March 2015

The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Daniel Lee