Kenneth Culhane

Head Chef, The Dysart, Petersham, Richmond
Scholar 2010
Jean Georges, New York City

Kenneth learned his craft with some of the world’s finest chefs, Guillaume Le Brun at Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin, Maître Cuisinier de France, Pascal Bouvier at Le Choiseul in the Loire, each a 2-starred Michelin chef, and with Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney, with 3 Hats.

In 2010 he won the Roux Scholarship and joined the group of Scholars who have gone on to achieve great things. Kenneth visited Japan with the Roux Scholars and will be part of the trip to New York. Like all of those involved he took much inspiration from the culinary experience and the culture into his cooking.

Kenneth joined the family owned and run Dysart, in Petersham as head chef in July 2012 from Level 31, the former BaxterStorey contract at Barclays in Canary Wharf.

Everything about The Dysart, from its restoration, approach to food, and service, commitment to quality ingredients, to responsible sourcing and concern for tradition, is driven by a guiding family view and rooted in shared values between Manager Barny Taylor and classically trained Kenneth. Both are constantly inspired and invigorated by the beautiful, surrounding countryside and the changing seasons and this is evident in the overall experience.

Kenneth was recently invited by Slow Food UK to become a member of the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance.

This short film of Kenneth's time cooking at 3-Michelin starred restaurant, Jean Georges on Central Park, New York captures what is so great about winning this competition.

Commenting on winning The Roux Scholarship at the time Kenneth said: "It's the most fantastic feeling to win this competition. I was very lucky that winning almost coincided with the study trip to Germany that the Roux family organise every two years. It was a wonderful trip and enabled me to see first hand what the scholars club is all about. I enjoyed talking to the other scholars and learning from them how they approached the stage and what lessons they learnt.

The actual choosing of where I wanted to go was quite difficult as there is so much choice around the world and particularly all over Europe but in the end one restaurant seemed to jump out as the obvious place for me to go.

My wife is from Mauritius and as a result of traveling there with her I am very fond of Asian food although I have been classically trained. Mauritian food is a mixture of Chinese, Indian, African and French and when I go there I am always inspired by the simplicity of the food.

One chef who has already trodden this path is Jean Georges Vongerichten who is a classically trained chef who has successfully married Asian and French traditions together in a new and exciting way.

I was very envious of Hrishikesh Desai, going to California to spend time with Thomas Keller and I wanted to go to the US as well. So, I chose Jean Georges in New York City which is amazing not just because of the food in the restaurant but also because I can eat out all over New York and really soak in the culture of one of the worlds great food cities.

I am very grateful to the Roux family for this opportunity. It truly is a one of a kind experience and without the scholarship I would never dreamed I could achieve such a trip without the financial pressure of having to give up my job and pay for the whole thing myself."

Kenneth Culhane

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