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Roux Scholarship 2008 Won By City Chef

15/04/2008, By

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 1140 votes


Daniel Cox, a twenty six year old, who works for the fine dining division of Compass Group at UBS in London, was named the 2008 Roux Scholar on April 21st in front of hundreds of the 'culinary glitterati' at London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

He not only wins a cheque for £5,000, three months training under a three Michelin starred chef, numerous other travel opportunities and a host of other prizes, but he joins an elite band of other Roux Scholars, who network regularly, meet for educational events and become surrogate members of the famous Roux family.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the competition; or rather it marks “the first 25 years of the competition” as Michel Roux senior told the audience.

Daniel, who was brought up and still lives in Highbury, had a Saturday job with a local butcher. He had always wanted to be a chef and after training at Westminster Kingsway College, he joined the brigade of The Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair. He then moved into contract catering, which led to his current position with Compass Group’s fine dining division, where he has been head chef for client UBS for the last two years. This was his third attempt at the competition. He was a regional finalist twice before and having reached the finals this year, was determined to clinch the title.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said:” I can't believe I've just won. This is amazing ... I would never have dreamt it ... this is the best moment of my life. “

He and five others at the final cook off prepared Rouen Duckling with Burgundy Pinot & Brandy, a classic Escoffier dish, garnished with Potato Gnocchi and fresh peas. Their previous recipes for lemon sole, their original submissions, had already been prepared for the judges at regional heats. The standard was extremely high, but Daniel’s dish was deemed by the judges to be the winner.

The Roux Scholarship is widely respected as the most important competition in the UK for young chefs (aged 22-30). It attracts entries from hotels, restaurants, pubs and contract caterers across the UK. The highly regarded judging panel includes competition founders and joint chairmen, Michel and Albert Roux, who are now accompanied by their respective sons Alain and Michel Junior. They are joined by Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes, Heston Blumenthal, David Nicholls, and the very first Scholar Andrew Fairlie. Guest judge this year was restaurant critic and broadcaster Tracey MacLeod.

Prizes: As Roux Scholar not only does Dan win the renowned three month stage at a 3-star Michelin establishment with accommodation and living allowance, but £5,000, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust, which is to be used to enhance his culinary education.

As well as numerous prizes from supporting companies, he also receives a week’s paid work-experience in New York, courtesy of Restaurant Associates; an expenses paid trip including travel and overnight accommodation to visit the wine cellars of Champagne Gosset at Aÿ, and a trip for two to visit the Caffé Musetti roasting factory in Milan.

Each of the other finalists won a cheque for £1,000 to further their education, a day’s butchery course, courtesy of Fairfax Meadow, an engraved commemorative saucier from All-Clad, sets of knives from Global, plus a year’s complimentary membership of the Institute of Hospitality.

Supporters: In addition to the aforementioned supporters, the Roux Scholarship is also generously supported by a number of other companies including British Airways, Castello Monte Vibiano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Direct Seafoods, Fruisana Fruit Sugar, L’Unico, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Winterbourne Charitable Trust and Yes Chef! magazine.

For further information on the Roux Scholarship please visit their Website.

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