All entries are marked blind, this means the judges only have your recipe in front of them; names are concealed until the semi-finalists are selected.
Your aim is to get your recipe noticed by the judges as one that stands out because it works on paper and comes across as one they would like to see you cook and taste.
The judges are looking for simplicity and attention to detail; a clear well thought out recipe helps them to be able to picture your dish at each stage of the process and on the plate.
Top tips to make your entry stand out:
- Read the brief carefully and think about the key ingredients that you’ve been given. Devise a recipe using the core ingredients that both showcase the ingredients, and allow your style to shine through.
- Create a name for your dish that describes it clearly.
- Use seasonal ingredients for the month the regional finals are held, usually February or March.
- Practice your dish to check it works – a number of times. Get honest feedback from your senior chef and colleagues so you can improve it before you submit your written entry, perhaps trial it on the menu at your restaurant and gauge feedback.
- Don’t over complicate your dish. Does every element add something to the dish or could cutting something out make it better? Avoid using too many complex flavours or methods.
- Practice the timing of your recipe, use the time allowed wisely. Too ambitious and you will run out of time, too easy you will finish too early – try to get a balance.
- A maximum of two and a half hours cooking time in total is allocated at the Regional Final for your recipe and a dessert you’ll be asked to cook from a ‘mystery box’ of ingredients.
- When writing your recipe and method keep it clear, don’t waffle and use spell check.
- Give details of how you will assemble and finish the dish.
- Use bullet points, headings or numbering to help with clarity of your approach.
- Double check costings, are they correctly calculated and realistic?
- Make sure your entry is anonymous, no logos or personal identifiers should be visible in your recipe or it will be discarded.
- Make sure you have at least one and no more than two photographs of your dish on your entry form, preferably on a plain plate without any background distractions (no logos).
- Do not copy and paste from a recipe book, the judges will notice and penalise you for this.
- Save your recipe, this might sound obvious, but you need to make sure you cook exactly the same dish in your written entry on the day or you will be penalised.
All entries MUST be submitted through the on-line link, if you send your entry via the post you will not be entered into the competition
A word from the judges:
“It seems to me that a lot of chefs underestimate the importance of the written entry. As judges we are presented with an average of 100 anonymous recipes that we have to read and try to choose the eighteen dishes we would like to see cooked and presented. It is at this point we start to look for the next Roux scholar.
A recipe needs a title, a list of ingredients, be well laid out with a detailed method and a precise service description.
If the recipe is not presented properly it strikes me immediately that the chef is lazy and is not taking the Scholarship seriously.
Simple things like spelling mistakes; wrong quantities or ridiculous costings could cost good chefs a place in the semi final.
Young chefs have a tendency to over complicate their dishes, my advice is to keep the dishes simple and make sure that on the day they have time to concentrate on getting every element of their dish perfect. They also need to take into account that on the day they will be presented with a list of ingredients with which they have to devise a dessert; so practicing some basic pastry techniques will stand them in good stead.
In my experience those chefs that have practiced their dishes at least three times before they enter the kitchen stand a better chance of being successful.”
“The Roux Scholarship is an opportunity to put your career on fast track. When presenting your recipe remember this could change your life, so be very sure that it works and you would be proud to present the dish to the Roux family.”