The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Sabrina Gidda

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th 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 - Sabrina Gidda.

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.

sabrinaName: Sabrina Gidda

Region: London ( originally from Wolverhampton )

Age: 28 Works at: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, (Restaurant Associates)  

Job role: Head chef

Cooking Background: "I have  a degree in Fashion PR and Marketing, so I always had an academic background then I stepped into this industry by fluke. I worked as a waitress when I was at university, the chef cut his hand and went to hospital so I stepped in and finished service and I really got a taste for working in a kitchen. I finished my degree as I promised my parents I would, then went to do a stage at The Dorchester.

"I was 21 when I went on to work in a gastro pub chain, running the kitchen and then from there was my first job with Restaurant Associates as head chef at the Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden. From there I moved on to Freshfields. It's been a bizarre journey but one that I've really enjoyed."

Cooking Influences: "I'm a classical cook at heart and I love to eat - I love food full stop!  Modern European cookery is what my menus are designed around at Freshfields. But they often have a very classic undertone, which is really what I enjoy. Looking back at Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffmann and indeed the Rouxs - that era was something I wasn't a part of so it's interesting to look back and collect my own information from them and filter them into my career now."

On The Roux Scholarship: "The Rouxs are our associate chefs at Restaurant Associates so I've been fortunate enough to cook with them and for them over the past couple of years. But cooking for them in a Roux Scholarship is quite different! it's been an amazing opportunity and I feel phenomenally proud to be an untrained chef, I'm entirely self taught, to be cooking for the Rouxs - it's a real honour.sabrina and judges

"Last year was the first year I entered and I had no expectation of making it to the final at all. I just thought let's try this, I worked really hard and just waited to see what would happen. After you've made it to the final once, the pressure and the expectation to make it again is actually quite phenomenal. I've learnt not to be shaken by cooking for chefs of that calibre."

Talking about being the only female chef in the final, Sabrina added: "I consider myself genderless - first and foremost I'm a chef, alongside that i just so happen to be a woman. When you're cooking for people, ultimately it's the food and what they get as an end product that they notice the most."

Cooking ambitions: "The end goal for me is to open my own restaurant and absolutely in London! It's a great city and although I'm not originally from London it very much feels like home for me." 

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

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th March 2015

The Roux Scholarship 2015 final six: Sabrina Gidda