Proud moment for young chefs

Daniel Lines was born in Chichester and is now a chef at a top London kitchen
Daniel Lines was born in Chichester and is now a chef at a top London kitchen

Two chefs from West Sussex are regional finalists in The Roux Scholarship, one the most prestigious fine dining competitions in the world.

It is a proud moment for Luke Selby, a former Steyning Grammar School pupil, and Daniel Lines, who went to Chichester High School for Boys, as it is unusual to have two regional finalists from the county in this national competition.

Luke cut his teeth in kitchens at White’s Bar and Kitchen and Springwells Hotel in Steyning. He is now a chef at Dabbous, a top London restaurant.

Daniel was born in Chichester and is now a chef at a top London kitchen run by Restaurant Associates.

They are two of 18 regional finalists announced by Alain and Michel Roux Jr and will be competing in London on Thursday for the title Britain’s best young chef.

The organisers said: “This 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 Roux legacy.

“It’s a title all young chefs want to win and many have gone on to run their own restaurants and earn Michelin stars.”

Luke and Daniel will be among 12 chefs judged in London by a panel including Alain Roux and James Martin, former presenter of BBC Saturday Kitchen.

The other six candidates will be simultaneously judged in Birmingham by a panel including Michel Roux Jnr, former Masterchef judge, and Brian Turner from BBC2’s Ready, Steady, Cook.

This year’s challenge is to create a recipe to serve four people using one whole fresh rainbow trout and 800g live mussels, accompanied by two garnishes. The judges will be looking for recipes and methods which demonstrate the best balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish.

Andrew Fairlie, one of the London judges, said: “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.”

Six winners from across the two regional finals will go through to the national final, which takes place at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on Monday, April 10.

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