The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Ian Scaramuzza

The  Staff Canteen

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)

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th March 2015

The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Ian Scaramuzza