Entries have opened for the Roux Scholarship 2020, with hopefuls asked to submit a recipe using hake, clams and leeks.
Judge Alain Roux, chef-patron of the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, said: "A surprisingly underrated fish, hake finds its perfect accompaniment in palourde clams, a particular favourite of mine along with deliciously delicate leeks. As usual, we are setting a deceptively simple task, using three ingredients whilst testing core skills to the limit.
"The key to success will depend on precise judgement to ensure a subtle balance of flavours whilst taking care not to overcook any element. I can't wait to see what our ingenious competitors produce for us this year."
Fellow judge Michel Roux Jr, of the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche in London, added: "Hake is such a delicate fish, it needs the utmost care and attention when cooking so I'm really looking forward to see what the chefs come up with. Clams and leeks are the perfect accompaniment but there is lots of scope for bold flavours with the sauce and the second garnish."
Those invited to the regional finals on 19 March 2020 will be given two-and-a-half hours to cook their dish, along with a dessert for four people from a box of mystery ingredients.
Six finalists will then be invited to the national final, which will be held at Westminster Kingsway College in London on 6 April 2020.
The Roux Scholarship was founded by renowned chefs Michel and Albert Roux in 1984 to enable a new generation of UK chefs to train in the best restaurants in the world. The winner will receive £6,000 to support their career development and an invitation to cook and train in a three-Michelin star restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months.
The 2019 judges will be Alain Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Clare Smyth, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), James Martin, Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar), André Garrett (2002 scholar), Rachel Humphrey, Brian Turner, and Angela Hartnett.
Three Michelin-starred chef Björn Frantzén will judge the final as Honorary President of Judges.
For full details of the competition, rules and the entry process, visit www.rouxscholarship.co.uk.
Pictured: 2019 Roux Scholar Spencer Metzger