Legendary three-Michelin-starred chef Michel Guérard is to join the judging panel of the Roux Scholarship 2018 final as honorary president.
Guérard, who is renowned for his focus on healthy gourmet food, will head the team of judges at the final, which will take place at Westminster Kingsway College London on 26 March. Also on the panel will be the first Roux scholar, Andrew Fairlie, who spent three months training with Guérard as part of his prize in 1984.
Guérard started his career as an apprentice pastry chef and became head pastry chef at Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. In 1958, at the age of 25, he was awarded the coveted title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
Guérard opened his first restaurant, Le Pot-Au-Feu in Paris in 1965, and two years later he won his first Michelin star, followed by a second in 1971.
During the early 1970s, Guérard came known as one of the founding fathers of Nouvelle Cuisine alongside Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, the Troisgros brothers and Alain Chapel. At this time he moved with his wife, Christine Barthélémy, to Les Prés d'Eugénie in the spa village of Eugénie-les-Bains in south-west France. Here he developed the healthy style of cooking, known as Grande Cuisine Minceur, to complement the spa.
Guérard won his first Michelin star for Les Prés d'Eugénie in 1974 and the second a year later, with a third coming in 1977. He has since held three Michelin stars continuously for 41 years.
Michel Roux, founder of the Roux Scholarship with his brother Albert, said he was "honoured and delighted" to welcome Guérard to the judging panel.
"Michel is a true artist in both cooking and pastry. He also holds the rare distinction of having been selected twice by scholars for their chosen stage, namely our first and now head scholar, Andrew Fairlie, in 1984, and Matthew Tomkinson in 2005."
Guérard added: "I am honoured to be involved with the Roux Scholarship this year. From the beginning I have taken a keen interest in the talented chefs who have won this prestigious accolade. I'm excited to see the competition in action and it will be a pleasure to join the Roux family to choose the 35th scholar."
Guérard will sit on the judging panel alongside joint chairmen Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr. They will be joined by Brian Turner, James Martin, Fairlie and other former Roux scholars, including Simon Hulstone (2003), Sat Bains (1999) and André Garrett (2002), as well as new judges Angela Hartnett, Clare Smyth and Rachel Humphrey.
Applications for the Roux Scholarship 2018 have now closed. Regional finals in Birmingham and London on 8 March will see 18 chefs competing for one of six place in the final.
At the final, six finalists will be given a recipe and ingredients for a main dish, which they will have three hours to prepare for the judges. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at the Langham, London, the same evening.
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