Roux Scholarship 2024: Six national finalists announced

The Roux Scholarship

The Roux Scholarship

Premium Supplier 8th March 2024
The Roux Scholarship

The Roux Scholarship

Premium Supplier

Roux Scholarship 2024: Six national finalists announced

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 2024 on 8th April 2024 at the Alain Roux Culinary School at The Waterside Inn. All six of the finalists are new to the competition.

They are:
• Harrison Brockington, Gather Restaurant
• Ben Miller, Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal
• Karol Ploch, Kerridge Bar & Grill, London
• Jordan Randerson, The Elephant, Torquay
• Liam Smith, Restaurant Pine
• Evelina Stripeikyte, The Glenturret Lalique, Crieff

Reserve: Caer Timberlake, Restaurant 22

Judging at the University College Birmingham, Michel Roux Jr: “That was an extraordinary cook off with six very talented chefs. I think all the chefs managed the brief really well, and the use of the sweet potato and the kidneys was perfect. We had spicy, we had braised, we deep fried, we had a ragu – I thought it was all really clever. We have an incredible line-up for the 40th anniversary final. It’s going to be epic!”
Judging at University of West London, André Garrett MCA said: “It was a good and interesting day, it took us a while to finish that judging – it was one of the strongest discussion we’ve had in a good few years. It was tough for some of them, but it was good to see their interpretation of their ingredients and the brief. But to throw that crepe in there, it tripped a lot of them up a little bit. You really have to keep your eye on crepes and you have to bring in some flavour and interest.”
Judging at University of West London, Alain Roux said: “Today was a very exciting day, we’ve got some great talent for the final and here in London we chose the best three, they deserve to go through.
Seeing how the chefs work, their preparation, their skills, seeing their plating is all important, but for me, the most important thing is the tasting. And the three who are going to the final nailed it.”

Judging at University of West London, Adam Smith MCA said: “It was great to be on the other side of it, obviously I’ve not judged before, and it was great to see the diversity of the cuisine which is a reflection of the industry. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”
Judging at University College Birmingham, Sat Bains said: “I think there was some nervous energy in there. And the curveball was the mystery box, it can be quite daunting, but we saw some great crêpes soufflés, some ice creams – they’ve been quite creative.”

Judges in Birmingham: Michel Roux Jr, Angela Hartnett OBE, Sat Bains (Roux Scholar 1999), Simon Hulstone (Roux Scholar 2003).
In London: Alain Roux, Brian Turner CBE, Rachel Humphrey, André Garrett MCA (Roux Scholar 2002), Clare Smyth MBE, Adam Smith MCA (Roux Scholar 2012).

The challenge was to cook the recipe that the chefs submitted with their applications, using one short loin of free-range gilt pork, two fresh pork kidneys and sweet potatoes. The recipes were blind-judged on 21st February by our judging panel. They had two and half a half hours’ cooking time for the dish, alongside a dessert to serve four people, made from a mystery box of ingredients given on the day.

For this year’s mystery box dessert challenge finalists were tasked with making a dessert with as many or as few ingredients from the 20 items as they liked. They were guided towards demonstrating their skills with crêpes. We appreciate the excellent ingredients supplied by some of our sponsors, including Elle & Vire Professionnel butter and cream, St Ewe eggs, The Macallan Whisky and Showerings Cider, along with a selection of goods from Wellocks.

Competing in London:
Ben Miller: “It is an amazing honour to get through and I’m super-happy as it’s something I’ve worked hard for. Everything went according to plan, but the mystery box isn’t something you can really plan for, so I made a bunch of bad desserts in preparation for it. But I’m happy with how it went and the dessert was one of my best desserts.”

Karol Ploch: “I’m excited but really nervous. Today was how I expected it to be, and I was pleased about how it went. Now we just have to see how the final goes.”

Jordan Randerson: “It was amazing. It was a very, very tough day, but I got through it. I would so recommend people enter it but to be well prepped. I’ve never been in a college kitchen before, because I didn’t train at college, so it was hard to find my way around.”

Competing in Birmingham:
Harrison Brockington: “It went relatively smoothly today, I was happy with how the main course came out. I’m really looking forward to the final, it always looks amazing. I’ll do some research and some practice to get ready.”

Liam Smith: “I guess it’s hard to prep for the final, but I’ll be doing lots of reading of classical cookbooks. And then on the day, I guess it’s a case of keeping your head.”

Evelina Stripeikyte: “I practiced the main course quite a lot of times and it went really well. Some bits were unexpected because you have to get used to a new space, but it turned out fine, so I was happy with my dish. I’m feeling really, really excited about the final. It seems unreal.”

Each competitor received the following gifts from our sponsors, as well as a commemorative certificate signed by all the judges:
• A commemorative certificate, signed by the judges.
• A G-106 Kiritsuke Knife courtesy of Global Knives, as well as a MS-472 whetstone.
• A Moka pot and coffee from L'Unico (Caffé Musetti).
• A TRUEfoods chef stone notebook and apron
• A copy of Wellocks' cookbook with recipes from top chefs.

Details of the national finalists’ prizes can be found here:

National final – Monday 8th April 2024.
In the final, the six finalists will compete for the title of Roux Scholar 2024, our 40th winner, which will take place at the Alain Roux Culinary School at The Waterside Inn. For the national final, the recipe details will be a complete surprise; 45 minutes before the start of the competition the finalists will be given the ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern, and given up to three hours to prepare and present it to the judges.

Honorary President of Judges: Acclaimed American chef Thomas Keller will lead the judging panel for the national final on 8th April 2024. Chef Keller, one of America’s most inventive and celebrated chefs, is renowned for his refined yet simple classic French cuisine and commitment to excellence that has inspired chefs throughout the world. He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, at his landmark restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se. He holds many more awards and accolades. For more information, visit

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