Where to have a Roux Scholar cook for you
As British restaurants reopen after lockdown and a tough year in the hospitality industry, we’re all delighted to be able to book a table and enjoy a lunch or dinner cooked by the experts. As some of the country’s best chefs, the Roux Scholars are delighted to be welcoming guests again, so where can you book a table and dine out on their superb cuisine?
Our 2019 winner Spencer Metzger is premier sous chef at the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant. He has been working in the prestigious brigade of John Williams OBE since he was an apprentice and cooks classic cuisine using the very best ingredients, be it organic beef from the Cornish moors, lamb from the Lake District, and succulent lobsters from South West Scotland. Book here.
When Martin Carabott won the Roux Scholarship in 2018 he hadn’t long been working at Hide, Ollie Dabbous’ multi-level restaurant in London’s Mayfair Hide. Now after working at the Ground restaurant for a few years he has been promoted to Head Chef of the fine dining restaurant Above, which holds a Michelin star. Choose from the tasting menu, which is carefully matched to Hedonism wines, or go a la carte for exquisite dishes that suit your individual preferences. Book here.
In 2020, 2017 winner Luke Selby opened his first restaurant with two of his brothers, Nathaniel and Theodore, Evelyn’s Table. The small counter restaurant brings together British produce, and uses Japanese and French cooking techniques. Luke’s cuisine has been greatly influenced by his extensive experience working at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and at Dabbous and Hide, where he was working when he won the Roux Scholarship. Luke chose to do his stage in Japan, the first scholar to do so, and worked at Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo. Book Evelyn’s Table here.
André Garrett took over as executive chef of London’s elegant Corinthia hotel in 2019 and has created a superb menu in The Northall dining room that features such enticing dishes as Cornish seabass with morels, English asparagus and champagne, and sautéed vendée white asparagus with hazelnut, and blood orange Hollandaise. André, who previously worked at Cliveden, Galvin at Windows and many other top restaurants, also oversees the menus in the bar and afternoon tea. Book here.
SOUTH OF ENGLAND
Cliveden House, Berkshire
Paul O’Neill is executive head chef of the restaurants at Cliveden House (main picture), having taken over the reins from André Garrett in 2019. Paul creates menus that draw on the beauty of his seasonal ingredients’ natural flavours, which are served in the elegant Fine Dining restaurant and the more relaxed Astor Grill. He also oversees the private dining room and the afternoon teas. His extensive experience has seen him work at Claridge’s, Ashdown Park and Hattusa. He did his Roux Scholarship stage at Pierre in Gagnaire in Paris after winning in 2013. Book here.
Read’s Restaurant, Faversham, Kent
After more than two decades working in London’s top restaurants, such as Le Pont de la Tour and The Ritz, Frederick Forster was appointed head chef at Read’s Restaurant in Faversham, Kent, a Georgian manor house surrounded by tranquil grounds with lawns shaded by lofty cedar, weeping willow and horse chestnut trees. Its owners, the renowned David and Rona Pitchford, searched for four years to find the right chef and were delighted to appoint Frederick who has a created a menu based on his extensive career working in classic cuisine. Frederick is also a regular on TV programmes such as Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch and BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. Book here.
The Elephant, Torquay, Devon
After working in top restaurants throughout Britain and taking part in some of the world’s most prestigious competitions, Simon Hulstone returned to his home town of Torquay in 2005 and set up The Elephant with his wife Katy. The restaurant won is first Michelin star a year later, and have retained it ever since. The restaurant is next to the picturesque quayside in Torquay, and Simon’s menus make the most of the extraordinary local produce growing in Devon, both by local producers and on his own small farm. Book here.
Sorrel, Dorking, Surrey
Steve Drake’s modern fine dining restaurant in Dorking, Surrey, has wowed critics since it opened in 2016. Sorrel won its first Michelin star in 2019, retaining it ever since. Steve and his team focus on balancing the superb flavours of fresh seasonal produce and letting each ingredient play its role. Book here.
The Dysart, Petersham
Irish-born chef Kenneth Culhane has worked all over the world, including stints in France’s Loire Valley and Sydney, and he did his Roux Scholarship stage at Jean Georges in New York after winning in 2010. Soon after, he joined the family-run restaurant The Dysart Petersham, which overlooks Richmond Park. He won his first Michelin star in the 2020 guide, retaining it in 2021, which gave a great seal of approval to his innovative cuisine that draws on influences from around the world. Book here.
The Hambrough, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
Matthew Tomkinson has only recently taken over as executive chef at The Hambrough at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. He is most looking forward to working with local suppliers as well as the opportunity to showcase the island’s abundance of produce. Book here.
Coworth Park, Berkshire
Adam Smith is one of the youngest ever chefs to win the Roux Scholarship and his stellar career has seen him work at The Ritz among other top restaurants. In July 2016, Adam was named executive chef at Coworth Park, earning a Michelin star a year later for Restaurant Coworth Park and 4 AA rosettes. With a mantra throughout his career that ‘taste is king’ Adam’s style of food echoes classical French combinations with his own modern style, techniques and presentation. Book here.
Historic Sussex Hotels, Sussex
Martin Hadden has been executive head chef of Historic Sussex Hotels since 2003 and oversees The Spread Eagle Hotel, Bailiffscourt Hotel and Ockenden Manor. Each of the hotels’ restaurants have their own unique character and menus draw on the incredible bounty of local produce available from the local area, including Sussex’s excellent vineyards. Book here.
Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
Lockdown saw Sat Bains establish Momma Bains, a new food take-away and home delivery service in partnership with his mother, and now with restrictions over he is reopening his two-star Michelin restaurant, where reservations are already in high demand. His ever-changing tasting menus have the power to surprise, amuse and enchant his guests and his team of dedicated chefs draw on the area’s fantastic local produce including fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey from the restaurant’s own garden. The restaurant was awarded Michelin’s sustainability award in the 2021 guide. Book here.
NORTH OF ENGLAND
After a career that has seen him work in Copenhagen, London and Berkshire, as well as his Roux Scholarship stage at Restaurant Hof Van Cleve in Belgium, Cumbrian native Tom Barnes is working on his home turf as executive head chef at L’Enclume and Rogan & Co in Cartmel. Both restaurants use the exception produce available in the area, as well as vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers grown on their own farm. The two-star Michelin L’Enclume was the number one restaurant in the Good Food Guide 2020. Book here.
Moor Hall, Lancashire
Mark Birchall launched Moor Hall in Aughton, West Lancashire in 2017 after an extensive renovation of the sixteenth-century manor house, set in five-acre grounds with its own lake. With two Michelin stars and many other accolades to its name, Moor Hall is one of Britain’s best restaurants thanks to Mark’s own style of modern British cuisine, created using local produce as well as that grown and made on the Moor Hall site. Book here.
The Gilpin Lodge, Cumbria
Hrishikesh took up the role of executive chef at The Gilpin Hotel after winning BBC 2’s Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial, a programme that searched for a new head chef for the hotel after the owners, the Cunliffe family, failed to find the right person. Less than two years later the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star. Hrishi’s imaginative dishes combine the great produce available in the Lake District with his French classical training and influences from Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Book here.
The Sandpiper Inn, Leyburn, Yorkshire
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, The Sandpiper Inn has been owned and run by 1993 Roux Scholarship winner Jonathan Harrison and his wife Janine since 1999. The welcoming restaurant has won many accolades, including Yorkshire Life Dining Pub of the Year, and menu features enticing dishes such as double-baked vintage cheddar soufflé with creamed leeks and deconstructed caramel shortbread with vanilla Fudge and cinder toffee. Book here.
Crieff Hydro Hotels
Roux Scholarship winner 1990 Scott Hessel took up a new role in 2019 as executive chef of the Crieff Hydro hotels in Scotland, a group of seven hotels and self-catering properties. Menus depend on the different outlets, which include family-friendly restaurants, tea rooms and the fine dining restaurant Tryst where Scott and his brigade delight diners with a seven-course tasting menu with seasonal, local produce. Book here.