The six national finalists have been announced!
Yesterday saw the announcement of the six Roux Scholarship competitors to pass the Regional competition and make it to the National Finals on the 26th March.
The finalists were chosen following two regional finals that took place yesterday at both the University of West London in Ealing and the University College Birmingham. The lucky six are:
Martin Carabott - 85 Piccadilly in London
Oliver Marlow – Roganic in London
Ben Champkin – L’Enclume in Cumbria
Sam Nash – L’Enclume in Cumbria
Ryan Porter – Northcote in Lancashire
Fergus Wilford – Cliveden House in Berkshire
The third time in the National Final for Martin Carabott and the second time for Ben Champkin, both chefs are now more determined than ever to be crowned Roux Scholar 2018 with Carabott, previous winner of the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year award (2016), saying: “It feels amazing to get through to the final again, and I am really looking forward to it and will practise as hard as I have ever practised for anything!”
The contestants were challenged to create a recipe they had previously mocked up for the entry stage using two whole gilthead sea bream, one variety of mollusc and green globe artichokes in just under 2½ hours. Although the recipes were already etched into the contestants mind, this didn’t stop any mishaps from happening. Ryan Porter says: “I accidently put my fish in the freezer and it froze, so I thought that would have lost it for me, but I put it on a warm plate and got it working.”
The competitors were also challenged to create a dessert from a mystery box including either almond powder, double cream, eggs, flour and rice or leaves of silver gelatine, amber maple syrup, coconut puree and baby pineapple. One ingredient could be omitted but at least 50% of the following ingredients had to be used making this a very difficult task for some.
Judge Clare Smyth said: “The dessert was a difficult one, some were simple and clean, and it was completely blind so it was difficult, the trick is to keep it simple, and some got that, others over complicated things.”
Along with the title of regional winner, each competitor received; a cafetiere pot with coffee from L’Unico Caffe Musetti, a TRUEfoods notebook and tasting spoon, a 12 year old & 14 year old bottle of The Balvenie wine and, of course, a Global Knives Kazoku set courtesy of us!
All that is left now is for the winners to sit back and relax as they wait for the grand finale on Monday 26th March at the Westminster Kingsway College with guest judge Michel Guerard as honorary president.