The six national finalists for this year's Roux Scholarship have been selected, following regional finals at University College Birmingham and Thames Valley University.
They will be joined by Helene Anderson from Ambassade de l'Ile, London; Quinton Bennett from The Westbury Mayfair ; Kevin Sutherland from Baxter Storey and Hrishikesh Desai from Lucknam Park in Wiltshire.
At the regional finals last Thursday, the contestants prepared recipes for best end of lamb, which had been their original entry requirement. They were also asked to produce a dessert from a surprise box of ingredients given to them on the day itself -eggs, milk, double cream, sugar, gelatine, and vanilla.
Judge Michel Roux Junior said the standard at the regional finals was "quite exceptional", making it difficult to choose just six finalists.
"The competitors have, of course, had plenty of time to practise their lamb recipe and perfect it," he said. "But when we saw the standard of desserts produced - with minimal time for planning, an extremely tight list of ingredients and in the tense atmosphere of the regional finals - we were really pleased."
At the national final on 6 April, Albert and Michel Roux senior will chair the panel, which comprises Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Fairlie, David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes, Michel Roux Junior, Alain Roux, Brian Turner and Richard Vines. The awards ceremony will be held later the same day at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
The 2009 Roux Scholar wins:
- A three-month stage at a European three-star Michelin establishment.
- A week's paid work-experience in New York, courtesy of Restaurant Associates.
- An all-expenses paid trip including travel and overnight accommodation to visit the wine cellars of Champagne Gosset at AÁ¿ for a guided tour of the production process.
- A trip to visit the Caffé Musetti roasting factory in Milan.
- A set of Global Knives to the value of £1,000.
By Daniel Thomas
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