The regional finals will be held simultaneously on Thursday 23rd March 2017
They will take place at University College Birmingham and University of West London, Ealing.
The chefs competing in Birmingham:
Jack Brough, Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair, London
Scott Dineen, BaxterStorey, (Black Rock), London
Dylan Owens, Fine Dining Company, Tattenhall, Cheshire
Ashley Randall, The George Hotel, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Peter Turnpenny, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere, Cumbria
Matthew Whitfield, The Driftwood Hotel, Portscatho, Cornwall
Judges: Michel Roux Jr, Brian Turner, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), André Garrett (2002 scholar).
The chefs competing in London:
Martin Carabott, Luca Restaurant, Clarkenwell, London
James Coe, Harbour & Jones (Ashurst), London
Michael Cruickshank, Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey
Oliver Downey, Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair, London
Joseph Fallowfield, Kota, Porthleven, Cornwall
Daniel Lines, Restaurant Associates (Credit Suisse), London
Paul Matthews, Vacherin, (Fieldfisher), London
Alexander Robinson, Restaurant Associates (Credit Suisse), London
David Scarpato, Gemelli, Newport, South Wales
Luke Selby, Dabbous, London
George Tomlin, The Clove Club, London
Fergus Wilford, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire
Judges: Alain Roux, Andrew Fairlie, James Martin, David Nicholls, Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar).
2017 was a strong year for entries with applicants from a wide geographic spread of interesting
establishments across the UK. Eight of the 18 finalists are from restaurants outside London. A number of
the chefs have passed through the kitchens of a previous winner, which demonstrates the impact of the
Facts about the finalists:
– Martin Carabott, Scott Dineen and Paul Matthews all competed in last year’s final. Michael
Cruickshank and David Scarpato were regional finalists in 2016.
– Thirteen chefs are new to the competition.
– Five competitors are from contract catering companies.
– Simon Rogan continues his strong association with the competition; two finalists, Jack Brough and
Oliver Downey, work for Dan Cox (2008 scholar) at Fera at Claridge’s.
– Fergus Wilford is in André Garret’s brigade at Cliveden and Peter Turnpenny works for Hrishikesh
Desai (2009 scholar) at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House.
This year’s challenge is to create a recipe to serve four people using one whole fresh rainbow trout
weighing anywhere between 1.5 – 1.75kg (maximum 2kg) and 800g live mussels, together served plated and accompanied by two garnishes. One garnish must include jasmine rice and the other to be a garnish of
choice. One of these garnishes can be served separately if preferred. A sauce must accompany the dish.
Competitors will have 2½ hrs 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 recipes and methods, which demonstrate the best
balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish.
National final – Monday 10th April 2017
Six winners selected from across the two regional finals will go through to the national final, which takes
place at Westminster Kingsway College, London. The 2017 Roux Scholar will be announced at a prestigious
award ceremony at The Langham, London, that same evening.
Quotes from the judges
Michel Roux Jr, “These ingredients were an inspired choice, they’ve really made the chefs think. In
particular, there are some very imaginative interpretations of jasmine rice which I’m looking forward to
Alain Roux, “The involvement of more scholars on the judging panel brings a refreshing new dimension and
means we have a wide range of experience, cooking styles and perspectives that creates a lot of lively
debate! Some chefs have kept their dishes relatively simple, some are more elaborate, it’s easy to tell who
has tested, tasted and refined their recipes until they work.”
Andrew Fairlie, “Overall there was a high standard of entries. What surprises me is that some chefs
continue to underestimate the importance of their written entry. They need to consider that we judge this
blind and only have what’s written down to go on. Once the names were revealed it was clear that a
number of great chefs are slipping through the net because of a lack of attention to detail in the
presentation and description of their dishes.“
James Martin, “Several recipes shone out today with great explanations and images. Let’s hope they taste
Sat Bains, “My first paper judging was an eye-opener of how stringently the rules are applied, it’s all judged
blind so we don’t know who the entrants are. It’s exciting to see who the winner will be from these great
André Garrett, “I’m impressed! The chefs who got through have all thought creatively about using these
ingredients. Rainbow trout is an underused fish, not often seen on menus and there are some exciting ways
of using jasmine rice.”
Simon Hulstone, “It’s great to see a mix of modern, as well as classical, cooking techniques in the
competition this year. I hope the chefs have remembered they need time to make the mystery dessert too!”