Three-Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic will join the Roux family as honorary president of the judges at this year's Roux Scholarship final, at Westminster Kingsway College, London on 10 April.
The award-winning chef will head the panel of judges during the final, which will be live streamed online for the second year running.
Pic is a self-taught chef, who originally went to business school with an aim to work the luxury industry. After the death of her father, a chef, Pic took over the family business, located at 285 Avenue Victor Hugo in Valence, France. The business has been operating since 1936 and today is home to Anne-Sophie Pic, a five-star hotel and a Restaurant André.
La Dame de Pic, a restaurant that gives guests a description of the meal based on a fragrance rather than through traditional text, opened in Paris in 2012. The concept intends to evoke memories of dishes through scent. In 2009, Pic opened Lausanne in Beau-Rivage Palace in Switzerland. Pic is to open her first restaurant in London, La Dame de Pic at the Four Seasons hotel in Ten Trinity Square, this month.
In 2007, Pic became the first female chef awarded three Michelin stars in France. She is famous for exploring rare flavours, such as bitter, acidic, iodised, roasted and smoked, and using them in her dishes. She often works with ingredients she believes are 'unappreciated' such as beetroot, turnip and cabbage, favouring cinnamon leaves to sticks.
Joint chairman of the Roux Scholarship, Alain Roux said: "As one of the few female three star Michelin chefs, she is highly respected, not only in France but internationally, offering inspiration to all aspiring chefs. Chef Pic's style of food, her interesting yet subtle approach and creative use of quality seasonal ingredients is exceptional.
"She powerfully combines a feminine finesse with unique flair sometimes creating unusual combinations but always guided by an excellent palate ensuring she gets the most out of her dishes. For me, having worked myself at Maison Pic, it is simply bringing the family back together again, which is always lovely."
Aspiring scholars are encouraged to enter until 31 January with a recipe using one whole fresh rainbow trout, live mussels, accompanied by two garnishes, one of jasmine rice and a second of their choice. A sauce must accompany the dish.
To enter go to: www.rouxscholarship.co.uk
The judges will select 18 of the best recipes, and the chefs will be invited to cook their dish and take part in a mystery box dessert challenge at regional finals in Birmingham and London on 23 March. Six chefs will be chosen to go on to the next stage.
For the final, the six finalists will be given a recipe and ingredients to create either a dish. This can be a traditional classic or modern twist. They will have three hours to prepare their dish and present it to the judges.
Pic is passionate about teaching younger generations and opened her own culinary school, Scook, in 2008.
Regarding the scholarship, she said: "It is an interesting competition, emphasising both tradition and innovation. What I find really exciting about the Roux competition is that, from a classic recipe, there is a lot about taste and interpretation. I am sure I will be amazed by the creations of these young chefs. I am very impatient to discover all these talents!"
Scholarship founder Michel Roux commented: "We must congratulate Anne-Sophie Pic for the true leadership she is displaying by becoming guest president of the judges, and be thankful that despite spreading her wings in Europe and her increasing workload, this remarkable lady commits to spurring on the next generation. In particular, I hope this message encourages more female chefs in the UK to enter the Roux Scholarship."
The winner of the 2017 Roux Scholarship will be announced at a grand awards ceremony at The Langham, London, on the evening of 10 April.
To view the awards ceremony via live stream, go to www.rouxscholarship.co.uk at 7pm on Monday, 10 April and click on the link to watch as the Roux family reveals the name of the Roux Scholar 2017 in front of an audience of prestigious hospitality guest.
The Roux Scholarship is sponsored by a number of companies including Aubrey Allen, Bridor, Cactus TV, The Caterer, Direct Seafoods, Golbal Knives, Hildon Natural Mineral Water, The Langham London, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, L'Unico Caffe Musetti, Mash Purveyors Ltd, Oritain, Qatar Airways, Restaurant Assosciates, TRUEfoods and Udale Speciality Foods.
By Katie Pathiaki and Ally Head