The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Ian Scaramuzza

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th March 2015

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

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.

Ian ScaramuzzaName: Ian Scaramuzza 

Region: London (originally from Glasgow)

Age: 29

Works at: Hibiscus Restaurant  

Job roleHead chef

Cooking Background: "After I left school I did a working apprenticeship at a place in Glasgow called House for an Art Lover which was a museum that did weddings and functions. After that I went to work with Geoffrey Smeddle at Etain. I was there for a year and I went straight from there to Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles. I started in Andrew Fairlie’s as a commis in late 2007 and within three years I was sous chef.

"Andrew’s a real role model and a mentor for me because of the way he conducts himself as a chef within the industry. He produces real chefs, real individuals, not robots like some other kitchens. Under Andrew I learned how to conduct myself in the kitchen; how it’s not about shouting and screaming every day; how to run a kitchen; how to run a pass; how to run a team of chefs and most of all, of course, how to cook.

"I left Andrew Fairlie’s at the end of 2011 and came to Hibiscus. Claude Bosi is obviously very well-travelled. His food is French-based coming from his classical French training but there are also international influences which give his food a unique twist. Under Claude I’ve learned a lot about different techniques and different flavour combinations."

Cooking Influences: "I look up to a lot of different chefs all over the UK and all over the world. What I'm doing at the moment is quite simple and modern. It's all about produce and we don't mess around with it too much."Ian Scaramuzza with judges

On The Roux Scholarship: "I've been looking at doing it for the last five years, Andrew had said to me that I should do it and then for two years in a row I didn't get through. I'm not sure why, it must have been my recipe - this is the first year I've got through. The competition really takes you out of your comfort zone, it was tough but I enjoyed the pressure.

"It's hard to prepare for the final as I'm in a two star kitchen everyday, 17 hours a day - so I've been flicking through Escoffier and Larousse when I've had a chance. Sometimes I think you can mess yourself up by thinking too much about it.

"The Roux Scholarship for me is the ultimate competition. Even to get into the regionals is a big thing, so to win it that's huge - it's going to open  a lot of doors. I wanted to do it to say I had been a part of it and hopefully say I'm Roux Scholar but also the benefits which come with it as well."

Cooking ambitions: "In the next couple of years I would like to be doing something for myself. Running my own restaurant is something I've always wanted to do so soon I'll be looking to do something new. In an ideal world I'd go back to Scotland but only if it was right, but I do like London - I like the buzz." 

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

>>> Related: The Roux Scholarship winners: where are they now? (part 3)

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th March 2015

The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Ian Scaramuzza