Entries Open for 40th Roux Scholarship 2024
Roux Scholarship 2024: A Culinary Celebration Unveiled
Entries for the prestigious Roux Scholarship 2024 are now open, and the Roux Family is thrilled to announce exciting developments as they celebrate the competition’s 40th anniversary. UK-resident chefs, aged 22-29, are invited to showcase their culinary prowess by crafting a recipe using a delectable range of ingredients.
New Faces, New Venue, New Challenge
Adding a fresh perspective to the competition, Chef Emily Roux, chef-patron of Caractère Restaurant in Notting Hill, joins the esteemed judging panel and the Board of Directors. With a background in some of France’s top restaurants, she brings a unique blend of French and Italian culinary expertise. Emily expresses her excitement, stating, ” I am super excited to be joining the panel of judges. Being alongside some incredible chefs and previous winners is a real honour. The Roux Scholarship is a real trampoline for any young chef’s career.”
In a significant move, the national final for 2024 will take place at the Alain Roux Culinary School at The Waterside Inn. Set in Michel Roux OBE’s former home, the Culinary School serves as a center for culinary education and training. The six finalists will have the honour of preparing their dishes in the state-of-the-art kitchens and presenting them in the Michel Roux library, surrounded by Alain’s father’s extraordinary collection of books.
Alain Roux shares his enthusiasm, stating, “The 2024 final will feel like a homecoming! We are literally bringing The Roux Scholarship home… to my father’s home, and I could not be happier. There can be no better tribute, as we look to celebrate 40 years since the founding of The Scholarship by my father and uncle.”
Michel Roux Jr said: “In life, there are ‘pinch me’ moments and to be able to hold the 40th anniversary Roux Scholarship final in what was my uncle’s house is definitely one of them. Both brothers would be so proud to see the school and that we are holding the final there.”
The Challenge: Short Loin of Free-Range Gilt Pork
The Roux Scholarship 2024 competition invites chefs to create a recipe for four people using the following ingredients and criteria:
- One short loin of free-range gilt pork from the shoulder end, weighing anywhere between 1.6kg and 1.8kg maximum, untrimmed with four bones in.
- In addition, use two fresh pork kidneys, together plated with crackling and two simple or composed garnishes/accompaniments. One of them must include sweet potatoes and the other can be a garnish/accompaniment of the contestant’s choice. One of these can be served separately, if preferred.
- A sauce must accompany the dish.
Entrants have until midnight on Monday 22nd January 2024 to submit their recipes via the online application system. For additional rules and stipulations, see rouxscholarship.co.uk/how-to-enter/rules/
Chairman Alain Roux said: “The short loin of gilt pork is one of my favourite cuts and, like the kidneys, offers great value and inspiration to create a fantastic dish. The loin is super versatile with the juiciest, most succulent meat and exceptional subtle flavours. The Roux family loves offal and we will be looking for careful preparation and technique to best preserve texture and flavour. There’s so much scope here to use different styles, flavour combinations and techniques, it should prove a fascinating challenge for our would-be scholars.”
Chairman Michel Roux said: “Short loin of pork, especially from the shoulder end, is a tremendous cut; lots of marbling, skin and the kidneys to regale the palate. This recipe challenge has so much potential for creativity and different styles of cuisine.”
Innovations for 2024
- The Roux Scholarship proudly welcomes two new sponsors, The Macallan, renowned for its extraordinary single malt whiskies, and Showerings Cider, a family-owned business with a legacy of 180 years in crafting award-winning cider.
- This will be the second year that the winner will choose from two star prizes: the two-month stage at a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world, or a bespoke training plan tailored to the chef’s skills and knowledge gaps.
- As the first step of the application, chefs must register their entry via the website. If they meet the application criteria (eg. age, UK resident, correct qualifications), they will be sent the invitation to complete online the recipe application form.
- For the two years after the pandemic, the age limit was increased to 31. However, the upper age limit for the 2024 competition will be exactly 30 years old. Therefore, if a chef turns 30 on or before 1st February 2024 they qualify for entry.
- The Roux Scholarship continues to be dedicated to encouraging chefs of all genders and ethnicities to enter the competition, with diversity and ethnicity monitoring included in the application form. To read the White Paper produced in 2022 following the Round Table discussion, visit the website at: rouxscholarship.co.uk/diversity-and-the-roux-scholarship/
- The 2024 competition will be the fourth time the Mentorship Award is offered as a prize. As well as the £6,000 awarded to the winner for their career development, an additional £6,000 is awarded to them on completion of 15 months’ service with their current employer after they win. Should they take up a new role in that time, the funds will be awarded to the original employer to help in the development of the remaining brigade.
- The Honorary President of Judges will be announced in due course.
Judges and Important Dates
In addition to Emily Roux The judging panel will remain the same for the 2024 competition and is as follows: Alain Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Brian Turner CBE, Sat Bains (Scholar 1999), André Garrett (Scholar 2002), Simon Hulstone (Scholar 2003), James Martin, Clare Smyth MBE, Rachel Humphrey and Angela Hartnett OBE.
22nd January 2024: Deadline for applications.
7th March 2024: Regional finalists compete, each cooking their written recipe plus a mystery basket dessert recipe challenge. Regional finals take place at University College Birmingham and University of West London. Six national finalists shortlisted.
8th April 2023: National Final at The Waterside Inn Culinary School. Award ceremony venue TBC.
Prizes and Sponsors
In addition to the star prize options, the winner receives up to £12,000 and a collection of fabulous prizes from ourselves and other sponsors, including Aubrey Allen Ltd, Bragard UK, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, Elle & Vire Professionnel, The Macallan, and many more.
For more information about the Roux Scholarship 2024 and the list of prizes, visit www.rouxscholarship.co.uk.
Photos: A selection of ingredients and images from previous finals, credited to photographer Jodi Hinds.