Adam Smith, the current Roux Scholar, is set to spend his winning stage at Yannick Alléno’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant at Le Meurice hotel in Paris.
Smith, premier sous chef at the Ritz London, who won the prestigious culinary competition in his first attempt at the title back in April, is the first scholar in five years to choose a restaurant in France for his stage.
He said he picked Le Meurice because of his admiration for Alléno’s cooking style, which is praised for its brilliant alliance of classicism and inventiveness.
“I was given his book a few years ago and fell in love with his style of food, with his modern interpretations of the classics,” Smith said. “I also wanted to go to a palace-style hotel. The Ritz is the last one in London, and Paris is where it all started.”
The Roux Scholarship’s co-founder Michel Roux added: “When Adam told me where he wanted to go I was delighted to see the pendulum swing back from recent visits to the USA to the capital of gastronomy. Yannick Alléno is extremely creative and his food is innovative and exciting. This experience will take Adam’s cooking to a whole new level.”
Alléno took over the kitchen at Le Meurice, located in Paris’s first arrondissement opposite the Tuileries Garden, in 2003, leading a brigade of 74 staff. He gained two Michelin stars in 2004 after just six months at the restaurant and won his third star in 2007.
Inspired by the Salon de la Paix at Château de Versailles, the dining room at Le Meurice was redesigned by Philippe Starck in 2007, featuring a gilded glass door, ancient mirrors, chandeliers and materials such as bronze, marble and other frescoes.
Meanwhile the Roux Scholarship Club – made up of former winners – is heading to Japan next week on their biennial culinary study tour. Michel Roux and Michel Roux Jnr along with scholarship judge Brian Turner and 12 past Roux Scholars including Andrew Fairlie, Sat Bains, Simon Hulstone and Steve Love, are flying to Tokyo where they will be met by Trevor Blyth, the 1996 Roux Scholar, who runs the White Fox restaurant there. A detailed account of the trip will be published in Caterer and Hotelkeeper in the autumn.
By Kerstin Kühn
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