Hélène Darroze named Honorary President of Judges 2022

The Roux Family is delighted to announce that acclaimed French chef Hélène Darroze will lead the panel of judges for the Roux Scholarship final 2022 as Honorary President of Judges.

With her restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London holding three Michelin stars, and her three restaurants in France being highly acclaimed, she will bring her stellar experience to the competition. She said: “I am looking forward to discovering the young talent that can be found in the kitchens across Britain. It will be a great honour to be leading the judging panel at the national final in April.”

Chef Darroze is the fourth generation of chefs in her family, although she began her career working on the operational side of hospitality, working with Alain Ducasse at his three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV in the famous Hotel De Paris, Monaco. Ducasse recognised her potential and encouraged her into the kitchen. In 1995, she returned to her home region of Les Landes, when her father gave her the keys to the kitchen of the family-run, Relais & Châteaux affiliated restaurant in Villeneuve-de-Marsan. Eager to develop her own career, Hélène returned to Paris to open her own venture, Restaurant Hélène Darroze. The restaurant received international acclaim and was awarded its first Michelin star in 2001, followed by a second star in 2003. In 2010, Hélène brought her culinary prowess to London and opened Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, which was awarded a Michelin star just six months later, with the second following in 2011. After a complete refurbishment, the restaurant reopened in September 2019 and was awarded the ultimate three stars in the 2021 Michelin Guide.

Meanwhile in Paris, Jòia by Hélène Darroze opened in September 2018; and in July 2019 her flagship restaurant was relaunched as ‘Marsan by Hélène Darroze’ which is named after the capital town in her home region of Les Landes. It holds two Michelin stars. Most recently, in July 2021, she opened Hélène Darroze at Villa La Coste, in Provence, France, having been seduced by the opulence and diversity of the vegetables and fruit from the region.

Chef Darroze is no stranger to judging chef competitions, having been a judge on the TV French television series Top Chef (similar to the UK’s Masterchef: The Professionals) since 2015. We cannot wait to introduce her to our six national finalists.

Michel Roux Jr said: “Hélène is an icon of our industry, with her inimitable style she brings joy to every plate of food she creates. It is such an honour to have her joining the Roux Scholarship judging panel for 2022.”

Alain Roux said: “We are so fortunate to welcome Hélène as Honorary President of the Judges. Hélène’s mentorship is a very special gift to our Scholarship and the next generation of chefs who flow from it.”