Six national finalists announced for Roux Scholarship 2023
The six national finalists for the 2023 Roux Scholarship have been revealed.
They were chosen following two regional finals on 9 March at the University of West London, Ealing and University College Birmingham. They will go on to compete at the final on 3 April.
The finalists are:
• Ben Champkin, The Newt, Somerset
• Christopher Clarke, Core by Clare Smyth, London
• Oliver Dovey, Baxterstorey, London
• Sam Lomas, Glebe House, Devon
• April Lily Partridge, The Ledbury, London
• Alex Rothnie, L'Enclume, Cumbria
• Reserve: Max Davies, Aizle, Edinburgh
The regional finalists were asked to cook the recipes they had submitted with their applications, which had to feature a striploin of dry-aged heritage beef, one beef offal (either heart, tongue, or kidney), two simple or composed garnishes - one of which had to include chicory and a sauce. The finalists were then tasked with making a dessert from a mystery box of 22 ingredients.
Michel Roux Jr, who led the judging at the University of West London, said: "It's always very challenging and gut-wrenching for some, but even those who didn't get through have left with a big smile on their faces and they can be very proud of what they achieved. In terms of the food, there was some fantastic choux pastry in the desserts. I think giving our finalists more ingredients in the mystery box has actually worked, in so far as we've had some fantastic desserts here today."
Alain Roux who led the Birmingham heat added: "It was a really good mystery box and most finalists had a similar idea of serving a filled choux, with good flavours. Some were very simple with the use of chantilly. Personally, I was expecting something a bit more exciting, but we had two outstanding desserts."
The winner of the Roux Scholarship will receive up to £12,000, a two-month stage at a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world, or the option of a bespoke training programme tailored to their interests and skills gaps. In addition, there are a number of prizes from the competition's sponsors.
Michel and Albert Roux established the Roux Scholarship in 1983 and previous winners include Mark Birchall, Simon Hulstone, Sat Bains and Andrew Fairlie.