Luke Selby, the winner of the Roux Scholarship 2017, is to undertake a stage at the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Nihonryori Ryugin in Japan.
The stage, part of Selby’s prize for winning the prestigious competition, will see him work under chef Seiji Yamamoto in Tokyo.
Selby is currently working his last week at Dabbous, which is soon to close, before competing in National Chef of the Year on 20 June, ahead of his stage. He departs for Japan just two days later on 22 June.
Roux Scholars are able to choose a stage at any three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Speaking about his choice, Selby said: “I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, I’m fascinated by the culture, the cuisine, the traditions and the complete respect for quality ingredients. The Roux Scholarship gives me a unique opportunity to train somewhere that is completely out of my comfort zone. I’ve chosen Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo and Chef Seiji Yamamoto because it is a small restaurant which offers a wide range of both traditional and modern Japanese dishes. Chef’s ethos is one of total respect for the ingredients and to use almost only what is available in Japan. This will be an amazing chance for me to immerse myself in Japanese culture and learn about the produce, techniques, flavours and style.”
Alain Roux, joint chairman of the Roux Scholarship, along with his cousin Michel Roux Jr, said: “I’m fascinated by Luke’s choice, a brave and inspirational one that fully exploits the scholarship opportunity. Luke has chosen one of the finest, most sought after Japanese three-star Michelin restaurants, a place defined by the rare delicacy of its ingredients and the precision and incredible innovation of its techniques under chef Seiji Yamamoto. The stage is set to be the experience of a lifetime where Luke will work with a small, elite brigade serving a tiny dining room, only 20 covers. At Restaurant Nihonryori Ryugin, Luke will also discover the real Japan, its culture, food and will fall in love with the unique tableware, as central to the food experience in Japan as the dishes themselves!”
Selby, who took the Young National Chef of the Year title in 2014, beat five other finalists in a highly fought final held at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on 10 April to win the scholarship. Competitors were asked to prepare and serve lièvre à la royale (hare royal) with chestnut pasta and broccoli in a style of their choosing.
Dabbous is expected to close this summer ahead of a major new initiative from the restaurant creators, Ollie Dabbous and Oskar Kinberg.