Six national finalists announced for The Roux Scholarship 2019

The Roux Scholarship

The Roux Scholarship

Premium Supplier 15th March 2019

Six national finalists announced for The Roux Scholarship 2019

After the exciting regional finals in London and Birmingham, the Roux family is delighted to announce the names of the six chefs who will compete for the title of Roux Scholar 2019 on 1st April 2019.

They are:
Ryan Baker, The Ritz, London
Olivia Catherine Burt, Claridge’s, London
Michael Cruickshank, Bohemia, Jersey
Adam Harper, The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow, Derbyshire
Lewis Linley, Vacherin, London
Spencer Metzger, The Ritz, London

One reserve (who will compete if a chef has to drop out):
Samuel Nash, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria

Judging in London, at University of West London, Michel Roux Jr said: “Amazing standard. Every year it just gets better and better and the correctness of the cooking and the seasoning was beyond reproach.” Many of the judges were impressed by how evident it was that the chefs had practised their dishes over and over. James Martin said: “They’d all practised, practised, practised, and you can tell. Those who’ve practised have really nailed it.”

Two of the finalists come from The Ritz, Spencer Metzger, who competed in Birmingham, and Ryan Baker, who competed in London, both of whom entered for the first time this year. Ryan said: “I’m ecstatic that I got through. I’m really excited about taking the next step. I practised on all my days off, over the last couple of months – practised, practised, practised, and it really paid off.”

Meanwhile, Olivia Catherine Burt from Claridge’s also entered for the first time this year. “I’m super-excited. It’s a really big achievement. I practised from the moment I heard I’d got through. It’s always quite difficult work and practising. I’ve had lots of support from my head chef Martyn [Nail] and also Matt [Starling] from when I worked at Fera.”

Meanwhile in Birmingham, some of the chefs struggled to cook their dishes and the mystery box dessert within the time given. Judge Angela Hartnett said: “My advice would be to future entrants: when thinking about the paper entry, save time for the dessert.”

Chairman Alain Roux said: “There was a level of complexity in a lot of the dishes, which cannot be easy to execute at that level. The result was that the desserts were not so well-executed and they should have properly cooked and poached the fruit.”

Facts about the finalists:
• Michael Cruickshank was in the national final in 2017, and the regional final in 2016 and 2018.
• Two of the finalists, Ryan Baker and Spencer Metzger work for The Ritz, in Chef John Williams’ Brigade.
• Olivia Catherine Burt is the first female finalist since Sabrina Gidda in 2014 and 2015.
• Five out of the six finalists have got through on their first time of entering the competition: Ryan Baker, Olivia Catherine Burt, Adam Harper, Spencer Metzger and Lewis Linley.

The finalists were chosen following two regional finals, which took place on Thursday 14th March 2019 at the University of West London, Ealing, and University College Birmingham.

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