To participate, you must be in full-time employment as a chef in the United Kingdom. Entrants must have undertaken some, or all, of their training and/or apprenticeship in Great Britain or Ireland. Entrants would normally be expected to have either passed their NVQ level 3, or their 706/1 and 706/2 or equivalent. Those who qualified in Ireland must have obtained their NTCB Certificate in Professional Cookery. However, if a candidate does not possess these qualifications, in special circumstances an exception can be made. Supporting documentation and/or references will be required from existing or past employers.
The first stage of the competition is to submit a recipe using specified ingredients, which change every year. This round is judged blind, so judges don’t know the name, establishment, age or gender of the entrant. The recipe is judged on only its content. See the Competition Overview page for more information on what happens next.
The Roux Scholarship is more than just a competition; it is an opportunity. Each year, the life of one talented chef changes forever. The biggest prize is the chance to train in a three-star Michelin kitchen, anywhere in the world. With all expenses paid, the Roux Scholar lives in their chosen location and, each day they go behind the scenes in a restaurant they admire to see how their heroes have gained global notoriety. As well as the ‘stage’, the chef’s first year as a scholar also sees them enjoy some amazing trips in Europe and North America, along with an incredible collection of prizes, courtesy of our sponsors. And then there’s a prize fund of up to £12,000 to spend on career development. The first year is just the start: you also become part of a unique club, consisting of the previous winners – a group of honoured chefs who support and help each other throughout their careers. Every scholar can also call on the guidance of the Roux Family whenever they need it. See our Life as A Scholar page.
The judging panel is led by Chairmen Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr, with Vice-Chairman Brian Turner. The rest of the panel consists of some of Britain’s most respected chefs, including three former winners. See the judges page. Each year since 2016, we have been joined by an Honorary President of Judges for the National Final; a role fulfilled by Pierre Gagnaire in 2016; Anne-Sophie Pic in 2017; Michel Guérard in 2018; Peter Gilmore in 2019 and for 2021 Björn Frantzén.
To ensure complete fairness, the first round is judged blind and the chefs’ names, ages, establishments and genders are hidden from the judges, and the application is judged on merit alone. The ratio of female to male applicants tends to be in line with the 17% female chefs working in the industry and while many female chefs have progressed to the finals, only one has so far scooped the prize. If you know a talented female chef you think should enter the Roux Scholarship, please encourage them to enter – with more applications from women, there is more chance they will win. As our judge Clare Smyth said in her speech at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018: “Lots of women are coming into the industry and we need to support them to get to the top… when they do that, they’ll break the mould and we won’t need to talk about gender any more.”
We are grateful that a number of dedicated companies from across the hospitality and catering industry support the competition financially. They are carefully chosen, and many have been sponsors for a number of years. For more information on becoming a sponsor, see sponsors page.
There’s only one way to find out if you’ll win and that is to enter! Many chefs take a few attempts to win the competition, but even those who have taken part and never scooped the prize have found the experience absolutely invaluable to their careers. You never know until you try.
Each summer after the competition we add the official film to our YouTube channel. We filmed the competition as part of a TV series for Watch TV in 2013, to mark the 30th anniversary. However, in order for the competition to be suitable for TV audiences, it was necessary to change the format, which we prefer not to do.