Ian Scaramuzza, head chef at Claude Bosi’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Hibiscus, has won the 2015 Roux Scholarship.
The 29-year-old chef beat five other finalists who all prepared turban of sole and salmon a la mariniere – a recipe from the Roux family inspired by Escoffier – at a cook-off held earlier today at Westminster Kingsway. One whole black truffle was included in the list of ingredients which competitors could use “to their liking”.
Scaramuzza triumphed over Scott Dineen, Goldman Sachs, (BaxterStorey), London; Gavin Edney, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire; Sabrina Gidda, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, (Restaurant Associates), London; Daniel Lee, JP Morgan, (Aramark), London; and Richard Pascoe, the Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley, North Yorkshire. His success was announced at a celebratory reception at London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Commenting on Scaramuzza’s win, Michel Roux Jr said: “Ian’s dish was straightforward and simple, not too elaborate, but the taste and technique won the day. He used the truffle superbly – it shined – and it was balanced well with the sole, which can be quite tart. All the judges enjoyed it and we had a good feed!”
Scaramuzza, who previously worked for the first Roux Scholar, Andrew Fairlie, at his restaurant within the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterader, Scotland, said that the final had been tough, but he had been “happy” with his dish. “I was panicky at the start with the pressure of the competition and I would have loved an extra 10 minutes to have improved the presentation – it was nothing I had cooked or seen before. It was a pure challenge.”
Scaramuzza receives £6,000 to support his development, and an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three-Michelin-star restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months.
“I would like to go to Benu in San Francisco with American/Korean influences – it’s a small kitchen with nowhere to hide – it’s busy,” he said.
Alongside the Roux family on today’s panel of judges were Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes, David Nicholls, James Martin, Andrew Fairlie and Angela Hartnett.