Kenneth Culhane, a sous chef at contract caterer BaxterStorey, has been named the 2010 Roux Scholar.
Culhane, who works at the group's contract at Level 31 Barclays in Canary Wharf, London, won the title following a fierce cook-off in the kitchens of WestminsterKingsway College yesterday (29 March).
Competitors were asked to cook fillet of beef en croûte à la Bisontine with pommes duchesse and sauce bearnaise in two hours and fifteen minutes after they were given extra time to complete the dish.
Their culinary skills were judged by a panel of industry experts headed by scholarship founders Michel and Albert Roux and their respective sons, Alain and Michel Jnr.
The panel also included David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner and guest judge James Martin, as well as the competition's inaugural scholar Andrew Fairlie.
Culhane, who competed alongside his colleague Kevin Sutherland in the final, has won a week's paid work experience in New York, courtesy of Compass Group's Restaurant Associates, an expenses-paid trip to Champagne Gosset in Ay and a trip to visit the Caffe Musetti roasting factory in Milan.
Speaking after the award ceremony, Culhane told Caterer he was thrilled to have won the Roux Scholarship.
"This is the top culinary competition in the UK and I'm absolutely delighted to have won it.
"As a contract caterer some of the food we serve is as good as that of any Michelin-starred restaurant and me winning this competition definitely reflects that."
Michel Roux added: "Kenneth was able to handle the pressure and he was very clear in his mind that he wanted to win the competition. He was beautifully organised and his method of work brought out the best dish of the day."
The five runners up were:
Gemma Almond, the General Tarleton, Ferrensby, N Yorks
Mark Birchall, L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
Stephen Stevens, Cleifiog Uchaf, Anglesey
Kevin Sutherland, BaxterStorey, Barclays, London
Kevin Tew, Corrigan's, Mayfair, London