Life as a Scholar

The moment the winner’s name is announced on stage at our prestigious awards ceremony is the moment a chef’s life changes: a world of opportunity comes with being a ‘Roux Scholar’. Not only are there dozens of prizes, with trips to take, there is the stage to arrange. But being a winner doesn’t just last one year, The Roux Scholarship is a prize that keeps on giving for life. Here’s what you can expect:

Jodi Hinds Food Photographer London

The first year

The first few months after winning the Roux Scholarship are a whirl! There will be interviews with the press and broadcast media, there will be prize trips to far-flung destinations to schedule, and you will receive other prizes delivered to your door. As the newest scholar, you may also be invited to do chef demonstrations at events and have other such opportunities offered to you. In the summer after winning, you will be invited to a celebratory lunch at The Waterside Inn with the Roux Scholarship sponsors and judges. Finally, there is £6,000 prize money (with an additional £6,000 for the mentorship prize, see below)  to spend on career development, and so you will choose how to spend it!

The stage or training programme

The main prize for the Roux Scholarship is a two-month stage at any three-star Michelin restaurant in the world, all expenses paid. Some winners know exactly which restaurant they would like to stage in, while others do a bit of research into which will suit their interests and skills, as well as giving some thought to where in the world they would like to work for three months. You will make your decision with the support and advice from the Roux Family, and then our team gets to work on organising flights, accommodation and a start date in agreement with your employer. To find out more about the scholars’ stages and why they chose their particular restaurants, see the winners’ pages. If the winner chooses the other star prize of the bespoke training programme, they will discuss their career ambitions with Alain and Michel and come up with a suitable plan to fill in their skills gaps or training aspirations with courses and experiences to be taken over the year after winning.

Back to work

For any establishment, having a Roux Scholarship winner in the brigade is a tremendous boost to the whole team, with everyone sharing the excitement and prestige and benefitting from the publicity. That said, employers may be worried that winners will want to leave for pastures new soon after returning from their stage; with this in mind, the Mentorship Award is designed to support and encourage the scholar in sharing with their brigade the new experiences, ideas and skills learned during their three-month stage. The new Roux Scholar wins £6,000 to help with their career development, but an additional £6,000 will be awarded to the winner on completion of 15 month’s service with their employer following their win. Should they wish to leave their job within 15 months of winning the competition, the £6,000 will be awarded to their employer to support the brigade’s development in other ways.

Ongoing support

The first year after winning The Roux Scholarship is just the start: as a ‘scholar’ you become part of the Roux Family, which means you benefit from the guidance of the Roux Family whenever you need it. With decades of knowledge and experience between them, not to mention their stellar contacts book, they are keen to support you in your ongoing career.
You also become part of a unique club – the ‘Roux Scholars’. The previous winners are a group of honoured chefs who support and help each other throughout their careers. They have each chosen unique paths after winning the Roux Scholarship, and so have a wealth of experience to share with you and each other; so whether you ultimately want to run your own restaurant, or head up a brigade at a prestigious address, or work abroad, there is a scholar who can advise.

Educational trips

As if all this wasn’t enough, approximately every two years, the Roux Family arrange a culinary educational tour taking a group of scholars on what can only be described as a gastronomic trip of a lifetime. In the past, scholars have visited Gleneagles in Scotland, Dubai, Italy Germany, Japan, New York and California. A well as visiting some of the best restaurants in the destination, scholars get ‘access all areas’ to vineyards, workshops, farms and food producers, many of which are closed to the public. They are also a chance to spend time with other scholars, swapping advice, stories and experiences with one another. To find out more, see the trips page.