The skills you need to become a Roux Scholar
Do you know how to prepare a ‘ballotine’ or make a ‘mousseline’? If so, then you could be in with a chance of winning the Roux Scholarship and, in doing so, open the door to a world of opportunities. This list is by no means definitive but it gives an idea of the typical skills the Roux family are looking for in the next chef to be crowned Roux Scholar. Those with their eye on the life-changing prize don’t need to be working at a Michelin-star restaurant: the Roux family want to encourage ambitious young chefs, whatever their background, to apply. The next Roux Scholar could be anyone who has the skills, talent and drive to win, whether they work in a fine dining restaurant or village pub. Just browse the winners’ pages to see how diverse their backgrounds were when they won and to find out what they cooked in their respective finals.
Chairman Michel Roux Jr said: “To be a Roux Scholar you need to have what it takes to reach the top, that’s a given, but many will be surprised to see they have the majority of these skills in their repertoire already.” As well as a flair in the kitchen, the next winner will also need to spend time practising to be competition-ready, as chairman Alain Roux said: “If you want to reach and stay at the top of your game, these are some of the key skills you need. Careful practice will help you master them to perfection and set you on your way to becoming a Roux Scholar”.
The 13 typical skills the next Roux Scholar should have mastered are as follows:
- Roast/ poach a whole fowl, whole joints on the bone, and fish on the bone
- Fillet round and flat fish
- Bone all meat
- Prepare a ‘ballotine’
- Prepare a stuffing: ‘farce fine’, coarse or gratin
- Prepare a ‘mousseline’ – protein-based mousse
- Make sweet or savoury soufflés
- Do a liaison: Roux, beurre manié and use flour, yolks, blood and liver
- Make a pastry base: puff, suet, leavened or shortcrust
- Make emulsified sauces: hollandaise, sabayon, mayonnaise
- Cook ‘à l’étouffée’ and ‘braisé’
- Cook under pressure, under judges’ gaze
- Exquisite presentation skills.