In April 2022, Jonnie Ferguson became the third Scottish chef to scoop the title of Roux Scholar and, in his victory speech, he paid tribute to the first – the much-missed Andrew Fairlie - who had played an inspirational role in his career. Jonnie was competing just six months after his first experience of the Roux Scholarship finals, as the Covid-19 pandemic affected the usual schedule, and he was the only one of the six finalists to have reached the finals before. The experience helped him cook with confidence and he was ecstatic to be announced the winner at the prestigious award ceremony that evening.

Jonnie grew up in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde and started cooking at a young age. Inspired by TV programmes with James Martin, Keith Floyd and the Hairy Bikers, he was encouraged to try out baking and other recipes even at the age of eight or nine years old, moving on to cooking full Christmas dinners soon after. After completing his Higher Exams, he moved for training and an apprenticeship working under Adam Byatt at Trinity in Clapham and stay with his uncle Calum in London. However, the pressure of life in a new city at such a young age led him to question his career choice and so after seven months he moved back to Scotland intending to go to university to study brewing and distilling at Herriot Watt University. While he was waiting for applications to open again, he took a role as commis chef at Cail Bruich, working under Chris Charalambous, where he rediscovered his love of cooking and never resumed his plan for university. After a year at Cail Bruich, Jonnie was recommended for a role at Gleneagles with Alan Gibb. Just before he started, Alan thought Jonnie may be better suited to working at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and generously found him a role there with Stephen McLaughlin. From there, Jonnie spent time in each section of the kitchen and was encouraged to develop by both Andrew Fairlie and Stephen McLaughlin, both of whom he has huge respect and admiration. Once he felt he had done his time on each section and learned all he could, Jonnie took a role as Senior Chef de Partie at The Raby Hunt in Darlington where he enjoyed learning how another restaurant operated. It was during his time there that Jonnie qualified for the Roux Scholarship 2020, the finals for which – due to the coronavirus pandemic – didn’t take place until the autumn of 2021. After reaching the final for that competition and benefiting from the experience, he took a new role as Junior Sous Chef at The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant and Head Chef Mark Donald supported him in applying for the Roux Scholarship again, just six months after qualifying before. Jonnie’s skill, talent and experience helped stay focussed and he cooked the most impressive dish on the day.

Among Jonnie’s other accolades is winning the British Culinary Federation's Young Chef of the Year 2015, Scottish Junior Chef of the Year 2015 and Game Chef of the year 2018.

In early 2023, Jonnie conducted his stage at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. He followed in the footsteps of fellow scholar Hrishikesh Desai who did his stage there in 2009. Find out more about his experience here.

In spring 2024, Jonnie returned to California for a permanent role as sous chef at The French Laundry.