Jonathan Ferguson wins the Roux Scholarship 2022


Jonathan Ferguson is crowned 38th Roux Scholar

Jonathan Ferguson, Junior Sous Chef at The Glenturret Lalique, Crieff, has won the 2022 Roux Scholarship. The 25-year-old chef beat five other finalists in a fiercely contested final held at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on Monday 11th April.

For this year’s final dish, the chefs were set a tough challenge and were asked to prepare a recipe for Chaud-froid of Merrifield duck à l’orange, Chartreuse of asparagus. This included chilled roasted ducks, coated in a brown chaud-froid jellied velouté sauce, served with chilled individual Chartreuse of asparagus. The classic French recipe, inspired by Escoffier, allowed the finalists to demonstrate their talent.

Michel Roux Jr said: “The technical skills required to pull this recipe off are still very much relevant today: perfect cooking of the duck supremes and legs, a delicious shiny glaze with depth of flavour, not forgetting a light asparagus mousse.”

Alain Roux said: “This year’s Final recipe is a typical example of a great classic French dish.  But you won’t find it served very often these days.  Since it is a cold meat dish, it has gradually fallen from popularity. But for me, the combination of flavours of the duck and orange with the addition of asparagus, is simply unbeatable”.

Jonathan said: “I’m happy, really happy. I freaked out a bit when presented with the dish we had to cook, but two minutes in to it, I settled down really quickly. I had done something similar to this technique but with vegetables, never with protein. I think I was pretty much on point with the timings. As it was a cold dish, plating up was a bit easier. Having been in the last National Final I wasn’t any less nervous today but I was much less anxious the night before as I knew what to expect. I would probably like to take my Stage in Asia, more precisely Singapore or Japan. It’s a very different cooking style and culture there and something I simply couldn’t organise for myself.”

Jonathan was battling it out against the following chefs: Kieran Bradley from The Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury; Ruth Hansom, Head Chef at The Princess of Shoreditch, London; Yiannis Mexis from Hide, London; Christos Sidiropoulos from Ormer Mayfair, London; and George Whitelock from Angler restaurant, London.

The judging panel was led by Honorary President of Judges, Hélène Darroze, whose restaurant at The Connaught in London holds three Michelin stars, while her restaurants in Paris and Provence are also highly acclaimed and hold a further three stars. She said: “It was a very challenging dish. Most of them had never cooked this way before but they were calm and not stressed and there were some really good things done in the cooking. From the best three it was difficult to choose, but the eventual winner had cooked the meat beautifully, it was perfect and the sauce was excellent too. The kitchen was very quiet and calm without stress which I was surprised about. They were all well organised and no one was late or over running which was very good too.”

Chef Darroze led the panel alongside joint chairmen Alain and Michel Jr, who were joined by Brian Turner CBE, James Martin, Sat Bains (1999 scholar), André Garrett (2002 Scholar), Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar) and Clare Smyth MBE.

The winner was announced at an exclusive awards dinner at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in front of a small audience comprising the finalists’ guests, sponsors and judges, with the ceremony live-streamed via the Roux Scholarship website and YouTube channel.