The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Gavin Edney

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th 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 - Gavin Edney.

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.

gavin edney

Name: Gavin Edney

Region: Berkshire (originally from Cornwall )

Age: 29

Works at: Cliveden House, Taplow  

Job role: Sous chef

Cooking Background: "I started young - I did work experience at a hotel in Bath, when I came back I got a job in the next village in a little hotel by the sea as a commis chef. It just went from there, then when I was 21 I moved to London and worked for Gordon Ramsey at Claridge's for a year. But I headed back to Cornwall after that as I didn't think London was for me. It was a massive culture shock - the village I grew up in only has 600 people who live there, I used to get a boat to get to work. Going to London and getting buses and tubes was a massive shock and I missed Cornwall when I was in London but when I went back to Cornwall I really missed London.

"After a year I went to work for Warren Geraghty and trained under him for two years. Through him, I met Jeff and Chris Galvin and I went to Scotland and opened The Pompadour. After two years I wanted to move back down south and through Jeff and Chris I met André Garrett and that was my door into Cliveden House."

Cooking Influences: "Personal style? No one has ever asked me that before! I like André's look at food and the way he takes classical dishes and classical techniques and puts his own touch on them. He brings them more into date and makes them more modern. So I like what I'm doing at the moment. The main thing for me is just having the best ingredient possible and cooking it perfectly - that's my ethos.  So a good ingredient and light touch and you can have something quite special. I think working with chefs throughout your career you take a little bit from everybody and that creates you as a chef."

On The Roux Scholarship: "I've never really done a competition before, I tried the scholarship about two years ago but I didn't get through the paper round. The Roux Scholarship is THE competition in the country and it catapults you up your career so quickly. If you look at the past scholars that won and what they are doing now, you would be mad not to have a go.gavin edney with judges

"Working for André Garrett who was a Roux Scholar in 2002, I've realised it's not even about the prizes it's just about being The Roux Scholar 2015. And having the guidance of the Roux family for the rest of your career. Cooking for them I was extremely nervous, but the worst part of the day was getting your mystery dessert box and thinking what to do with it - my mind just went blank. I scrapped everything after 25 minutes and started again, I just couldn't make my mind up!

"To prepare for the final I've watched the last five finals on youtube and I've been reading Escoffier and Larousse. Just getting my head into classical techniques, sharpening up on my fish, meat and veg prep. When they say it in French I don't have a clue but when I see it made that's when I realise what it is."

Cooking ambitions: "I'd love to own my own place - I've always wanted a fine dining pub. I'm 29 now and my next aim is to look at becoming a head chef, so I'm pushing as much as I can as a chef and getting my name out there."

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

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th March 2015

The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Gavin Edney