The Roux Scholarship 2017 Final Six: Scott Dineen

The  Staff Canteen

The final of the Roux Scholarship 2017 will be held at Westminster Kingsway College on April 10 and there are six regional finalists all hoping to take this year's crown, one of which is Scott Dineen.

In a special briefing by the judges, 30 minutes before the start of the competition, the finalists are given the recipe and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern and asked to prepare and present it. The Staff Canteen spoke to each finalist to find out more about them and what The Roux Scholarship means to them - next up is Scott Dineen.

Scott Dineen realised he wanted to be a chef at age 15. Under pastry chef Alan Whatley’s moulding hands, Scott decided to continue his culinary career in London where he did a stage at Claridge’s. Taken by the five star cuisine, he started our in The Ritz, where Scott learnt his trade from executive chef John Williams and many others.

Soon after he started at BaxterStorey ten years ago, he was invited to a unique training programme, the BaxterStorey Chef Academy. He has since completed Level Three of the Chef Academy and risen through the ranks to take the position of head chef at a prestigious location in London.

WATCH LIVE:

To find out which chef wins tune in at 7pm on 10th April to watch The Roux Scholarship Award ceremony LIVE via rouxscholarship.co.uk, YouTube and Twitter

Who or what influences you most in cooking? And how would you describe your style?

People are most definitely my inspiration. Growing up, influential chefs like the Roux brothers, Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann were chefs I aspired to be and dreamt of working with. In terms of what influences my cooking, it’s most definitely the ingredients. Seasoning is important but the real flavour comes from non-fussy, really tasty ingredients. Flavour always sticks in the mind and never goes out of fashion.

Why did you enter the Roux Scholarship again?

It is an incredible opportunity for any chef. It took me out of the everyday and forced me to be more creative. It is this type of ‘money-can’t-buy’ experience that makes competitions like the Roux Scholarship so unique. My time in the competition has taught me so much and to be competing against the country’s best chefs is a real honour.

Le Gavroche is celebrating 50 years this year and has been the training ground for a number of amazing chefs, how influential have the Rouxs been to you as a chef even before the competition?

The Roux’s have been hugely influential throughout my career. I used to watch the Roux brothers on TV which led me to buy their books – my favourites being Pastry and The Essence of French Cooking both by Michel Roux Senior. For me, Le Gavroche is the biggest breeding ground for chefs in the UK and we have a lot to thank the Roux’s for! Ultimately they’ve been the primary driving force behind the UK food scene since the 1970s.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that people may not know.

Scott Dineen low res
Scott Dineen

Fresh out of college and with a passion for fine dining, I began my career at The Ritz as commis chef. Working with Alan Whatley as my tutor and mentor through college, I knew classic fine dining was my calling. Alan put me forward for my first work experience at Claridge’s, which helped me to secure my job interview at The Ritz.

How do you prepare for a competition like the Roux Scholarship and do you have any ‘good luck’ rituals or charms?

I try to remain as relaxed as possible! In the lead up to the competition I spend time researching and reading up on classic techniques, such as pastry and sauce making. Ahead of the final I like to take a step back a little and spend time with my family to take my mind off it. My good luck charm is most definitely my Birkenstocks! I’ve worn the same pair for the past four Roux Scholarships I’ve entered but only wear them for the competition and never at work.

What are your plans for the future?

My ultimate ambition is to win the Roux Scholarship title. Winning the competition firmly establishes you as a respected chef in the industry. In the immediate future I’m keen to achieve as much as possible with BaxterStorey, learning from my colleagues and mentors along the way. My long-term goal is to own an intimate country pub with my partner, cooking delicious but exciting food using local produce and supporting local farmers.

Scott has previously competed in Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year, reaching the semi finals in 2013 and 2014. He has also been competing in The Roux Scholarship, reaching both semi finals and finals.

>>> Read more about this year's Roux Scholars


by Thao Ly Nguyen

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th April 2017

The Roux Scholarship 2017 Final Six: Scott Dineen