The Roux Scholarship 2015 is now open for entries.
This year’s competition is open to entrants who are in full-time employment as a chef in the UK and be aged between 22 and 30 on 1 February 2015.
They will have until midnight on Friday 30 January 2015 to submit a recipe for four people using:
Two whole guinea fowl, with or without giblets, weighing anywhere between 1.2kg and 1.6kg, plus 200g of chicken livers, trimmed, to be served plated and accompanied by two garnishes.
One garnish must include spinach leaves, with the other to be a garnish of the entrant’s choice. A sauce must accompany the dish.
Entrants will not be allowed to use or bring any pre-prepared stock or sauce whatsoever for the meat or vegetable dish, and none will be provided.
The competition will be judged by Michel and Albert Roux and their sons Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr, as well as a line-up of other high-profile chefs including Andrew Fairlie, the first scholar to win the competition, Angela Hartnett, James Martin, David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes and Brian Turner.
Commenting on the opening of the competition, Michel Roux Jr said: “Guinea fowl is one of the most delicious treats when cooked with care and imagination, likewise the chicken livers can be an extravagance or disaster! I can’t wait to see what the chefs are going to come up with. We are looking for an imaginative recipe, respecting the ingredients, delivering flavour and flair.”
Alain Roux added: “We love the flavour and taste of guinea fowl that lies somewhere between chicken and the gaminess of pheasant. The key will be to cook it perfectly, which will be a test for the chefs, to avoid a dry, tough result through overcooking. I eagerly anticipate the 2015 competition.”
The judges will select the best 18 recipes from those submitted. These contestants will be invited to cook their dish, along with a mystery box dessert challenge at regional finals to be held in Birmingham and London on Thursday 12th March 2015.
The final will be held in London on Monday 30th March 2015 and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hyde Park the same evening.
The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid, three-month stage at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant anywhere in the world, as well as a number of unique prizes all related to food and hospitality.
Full details of the competition and the entry process are available on the Roux Scholarship website.
Last year’s winner, Tom Barnes, head chef at Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred Cumbria restaurant L’Enclume, is currently completing his stage in Belgium, at three-Michelin starred restaurant Hof Van Cleve, under the direction of acclaimed chef Peter Goossens.
Commenting on Barnes’ choice, Michel Roux said: “I visited Tom at Hof Van Cleve in October and met Peter Goossens for the first time.
“Tom has made an excellent choice; Hof Van Cleve celebrates the best of local produce from Belguim. What I love about it is that it’s a small family business, Peter is very ‘hands on’ and everyone involved is an important part of their success. They are a strong team and there is real harmony between the kitchen and dining room. Tom has become part of the family, he is listening, and learning, and as a result he’s blossoming.
“He’s a lucky young man and a very happy Scholar and that is what the Roux Scholarship is all about!”
Meanwhile 13 past winners of the prestigious competition, including the first Roux Scholar and judge Andrew Fairlie, are readying for the Roux Scholars educational trip to New York takes, which kicks off on 6 November.
They will join Michel Roux, his son Alain Roux, and judge Brian Turner to spend a week experiencing the culinary highlights of New York.
The Roux Scholarship is supported companies including: Bridor, The Caterer, Direct Seafoods, Fairfax Meadow, Global Knives, Hildon, Kikkoman, Laurent Perrier, L’Unico Caffe Musetti, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Restaurant Associates and Virgin Atlantic Airways.