Chef Thomas Keller to be Honorary President of Judges 2024

The Roux Family is delighted to announce that Chef Thomas Keller will lead the judging panel as Honorary President of Judges for the National Final 2024, as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prestigious culinary competition. The Roux Scholarship has enabled a new generation of young chefs from Britain to train in the greatest restaurants in the world.

In his role as Honorary President of Judges, Chef Keller will lead the judging panel at the National Final on 8th April, 2024 at The Alain Roux Culinary School, at The Waterside Inn, where the six national finalists will be asked to create a recipe of their own based on a theme announced on the day. Chef Keller will be accompanied by Chairmen Alain Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Vice-Chairman Brian Turner, as well as Clare Smyth MBE, Angela Hartnett OBE, Rachel Humphrey, James Martin, Emily Roux, and Roux Scholars Sat Bains, André Garrett MCA and Simon Hulstone.

“I’m grateful to be honoured in this way. The Roux Scholarship has impacted generations of chefs including Hrishikesh Desai, Jonathan Ferguson, Ian Scaramuzza, among many others. I’m looking forward to this year’s competition and the scholarship winner,” shares Chef Keller.

Chef Keller, one of America’s most inventive and celebrated chefs, is renowned for his refined yet simple classic French cuisine and commitment to excellence that has inspired chefs throughout the world.  He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, at his landmark restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se. Among his many accolades, Chef Keller was the first American male chef to be awarded a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honour; he has won The Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the Year Award, the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurateur Awards. Chef Keller led a team from the U.S. to its first-ever gold medal in the Bocuse d’Or. He is the author of six cookbooks, including the recently released, The French Laundry, Per Se. There are more than 1.5 million copies of his cookbooks in print.

Chairman Alain Roux says, “As a longstanding friend of The Scholarship and Roux family, it’s a great privilege to welcome Chef Keller as our Honorary President of the Judges. Some of The Roux Scholarship’s most extraordinary highlights in recent years are courtesy of Chef Keller. Not least the hosting of stages for our scholars, including Jonnie Ferguson in 2023 and Hrishikesh Desai in 2009, at The French Laundry. During our educational visits to New York in 2014 and California in 2016, we experienced first-hand Chef Keller’s incredible hospitality, cuisine and learned about his unique philosophy at his restaurants. To have Chef Keller share our final, in our 40th anniversary year, is the ultimate joyful, educational opportunity for us all.”

“I am delighted that our dear friend, Chef Thomas Keller. is joining us as Honorary President of Judges of the Roux Scholarship. He is without doubt a legend of our industry and has been a beacon in gastronomy for as long as I can remember. A mentor and inspiration for so many young chefs, it’s an absolute honour to have him on board,” shares Chairman Michel Roux Jr.