The organisers of the 2012 Roux Scholarship have named the six contenders for the April final of the prestigious culinary competition.
Robert Hutchins from Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate, Edward Attwell from Love's Restaurant in Birmingham, and Adam Smith, from the Ritz, Pramod Ghadge from Catlin Underwriting Agencies operated by Harbour & Jones, Arbinder Dugal from Le Pont De La Tour, and Quinton Bennett from the Arch, all in London, will compete at Westminster Kingsway College on 2 April.
The six chefs secured their place in the final after competing in the regional heats - held yesterday at University College Birmingham and the University of West London - where each of the contestants had two-and-a-half hours to cook a dish using spring chicken and veal heart sweetbreads accompanied by a sauce and featuring two garnishes, one of which had to be cauliflower-based and the other using a green vegetable of their choice. They also had to create a dessert from a bag of secret ingredients, which included banana, pink grapefruit, gelatine, almonds, butter, cream, milk and flour.
The Birmingham heat was judged by Brian Turner and former Roux Scholar Sat Bains. The London heat was judged by Michel Roux Jnr, chef-patron of Le Gavroche, Saturday Kitchen presenter James Martin, David Nicholls, corporate director of food and beverage for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, former Roux Scholars Steve Love and Andrew Fairlie.
Fairlie said: "Preparation is everything in this competition, you could tell immediately who had practiced their dish, you've
got to know it inside out and be confident and stick to your plan without getting distracted by the judges and
other contestants. The desserts were not good, the trick is to pick something simple, do it well and focus on
the main dish to showcase your skills."
Thirty minutes prior to the start of the competition, the finalists will be given the recipes and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern, and asked to prepare and present it. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park that evening. The winner will receive an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three-Michelin-starred restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months, to the value of £5,000, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust.
By Kerstin Kühn
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