Chef Luke crowned Roux champion

Luke Selby has won The Roux Scholarship
Luke Selby has won The Roux Scholarship

A former Steyning Grammar School student has been crowned the Roux Scholar of 2017 after winning one of the most prestigious fine dining competitions in the world.

Luke Selby, 26, beat five other finalists at The Roux Scholarship contest held at Westminster Kingsway College, London on Monday (April 10).

All six chefs were tasked with preparing and serving a Royal-style saddle of hare, chestnut flavour tagliatelli and purple sprouting broccoli.

They were given three hours to cook the recipe inspired by Antonin Carême in front of the judges.

Three-Michelin starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic, honorary president of the judges, led the panel alongside joint chairmen Alain and Michel Junior. They were joined by James Martin, David Nicholls, Brian Turner, head scholar Andrew Fairlie as well as previous winners Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar), Sat Bains (1999 scholar) and André Garrett (2002 scholar).

After being announced as the winner Luke said: “It was hard and I was really nervous but as soon as I got going I was fine.

“The cooking and seasoning went well. I’ve cooked hare before, but about 8 years ago. I’ve never cooked it this way but I had an idea of what they were looking for.

“It was an honour to cook for the judges; I wanted to impress them. They were encouraging, not intimidating at all.

“I am very honoured to be part of the family, and the legacy that is the Roux Scholarship. I’d like to go to Japan for my stage. I’m not sure which restaurant yet but it’s so different there, they respect their produce so much.”

As the winning chef, Luke receives £6,000, and an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months.

Judges of the competition said Luke’s dish was a ‘clear winner’.

Brian Turner said: “The winning dish stood out and it was a pretty unanimous decision for us.”

Alain Roux added: “Nobody panicked and all seemed comfortable to have a go. The six understood what we were looking for. Luke’s dish was a clear winner.”

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