Andrew Fairlie, chef patron of 2 star Michelin Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, at Gleneagles, Scotland.
Aged twenty, Andrew was the first winner of the Roux Scholarship in 1984. He has been judging the competition for a number of years. His success and leadership as the Head Scholar, inspires the next generation of chefs to follow in his footsteps.
In January 2006 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie became one of only eleven restaurants in the UK to be awarded two Michelin stars, and was voted one of the world’s top ten ‘Greatest Hotel Restaurants’ by US Hotel magazine. In the same year, Andrew was voted AA Chef’s Chef of the Year.
“Having a direct line to Michel and Albert Roux has been a tremendous help to me over my career for a whole number of reasons both personal and professional. I won the scholarship in 1984 and I’m now heavily involved with it.
I became a member of the judging panel and I take it very seriously. It’s an amazing event and it never ceases to amaze me how it can help a young chef move forward with their career.
With the help of Michel I chose to spend my stage with Michel Guerard and I couldn’t have chosen a better person to go to. He was legendary at the time and very much one of the leaders of the new French culinary movement and still active in his kitchen.
His food was seasonal and local as well as simple and relied on good ingredients treated with respect. These lessons are still with me.I actually spent about six months with him and I can honestly say that I still draw on that experience to this day.
Winning the Roux Scholarship really is just the beginning. Yes, its great to win and it does give you confidence but its so much more than that. It opens doors that otherwise are very difficult to open. And the those doors keep opening in the future as your career progresses and the Roux family are always there to help and advise should you need it.
I had written loads of letters to French restaurants at the time asking to get an opportunity but had very few replies and even they were to tell me no. However, on winning the competition it was one phone call from Michel and Michel Guerard was more than happy to take me.
Today, a lot of that has changed and now winners are going all over the world to do their stage and not just to France. Spain has been a popular destination and now the USA. This widening of global opportunity is great for winners and great for the collective pool of experience that scholars bring back and share with each other and their own brigades.”