The encouragement of young people to me is very important. We have moved this industry and respect for chefs in an amazing way over the last few years. The whole chefs profession has changed and now chefs can be proud to belong to the profession and not just consider it a trade.
The great thing about the Roux Scholarship is how it encourages chefs and gives them respect. It gives them a chance to show to the world what they are capable of. However, we shouldn’t forget that not everybody at the same time of life is ready to convert to the upper echelons. Michel, in particular, has learned a lot from the experiences of the previous scholars and how they have developed since their stage and how he can make the experience better for the ones that follow.
Now we make sure that language is not such a barrier and we make sure that the winner is mentally ready for the challenge of living and working in a foreign country that you may never have even visited. And as the world opens up so future scholars will want to travel and work in new and exotic places that we as junior chefs could only ever have dreamed of. I think that is a wonderful thing and I really believe in competitions.
Even if you don’t make the final you have still met the judges and six or seven other chefs who have also taken part. That’s a network and it’s an experience. But for the winner, when they are ready to go then its an amazing position to be in because you can learn so much not just about being a chef but about yourself and your whole future.
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