The Roux family has revealed the names of the 18 regional finalists who will compete for the 2015 Roux Scholarship.
The finalists will now compete in simultaneous regional finals on Thursday 12 March at University College Birmingham and the University of West London, Ealing.
The chefs competing in Birmingham are:
- Harry Guy, L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
- Tom Lawson, Rafters restaurant, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
- Richard Pascoe, the Feversham Arms hotel, Helmsley, North Yorkshire
- Ben Queen-Fryer, the Coach House Café & Bistro, Ulverston, Cumbria
- Sam Rush, the Banningham Crown, Banningham, Norfolk
- Dion Wyn Jones, Crewe Hall hotel, Crewe, Cheshire
The chefs competing in London are:
- James Devine, Black Cat restaurant, Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
- Scott Dineen, Goldman Sachs, (BaxterStorey), London
- Gavin Edney, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire
- Luke Fouracre, Burford Bridge hotel, Dorking, Surrey
- Sabrina Gidda, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, (Restaurant Associates), London
- Ollie Hay, Clifford Chance (Restaurant Associates), London
- Win Hai Lau, the Shepherd & Dog, Stowmarket, Suffolk
- Daniel Lee, JP Morgan, (Aramark), London
- Jozef Rogulski, the Stafford hotel, London
- David Salt, Allen and Overy, (Searcy's), London
- Sushant Sanzgiri, Hilton hotel, Kensington, London
- Ian Scaramuzza, Hibiscus restaurant, London
Judges in Birmingham will be Alain Roux, Angela Hartnett and Steve Love (Roux Scholar 1997). Judges in London will be Michel Roux Jr, Andrew Fairlie (Roux Scholar 1984), and David Nicholls.
Competitors will have two and a half hours to cook their dish, along with a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients given to them on the day. The judges will be looking for those recipes and methods, which demonstrate the best balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish.
The 2015 entries were described as "particularly strong" with more than half of the finalists from restaurants outside London, with a diverse range of nationalities represented, and several chefs who have passed through the kitchens of previous Roux Scholars. Five regional finalists are from contract catering companies.
Among this year's regional finalists are four former finalists - Scott Dineen, Sabrina Gidda, Richard Pascoe and David Salt. Meanwhile Daniel Lee was a regional finalist last year. Dion Wyn Jones also returns having competed in 2013, the year in which the competition was televised on the Watch channel.
Speaking about the challenge set for the 2015 regional finals, Alain Roux said: "The recipes we have selected are the work of some inspired chefs showing versatility of approach and variety of ingredients. I am looking forward to tasting the sauces in the completed dishes, to see whether they lift and complement the other ingredients and prove the perfect match."
Michel Roux Jr added: "There are some excellent guinea fowl recipes, ranging from great classics through to innovative modern interpretations of the ingredients."
Just six chefs will be selected from the regional heats to go through the national final, which will take place at Westminster Kingsway College in London on Monday 30 March.
The 2015 Roux Scholar will be announced at an awards ceremony held at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London the same evening.