Fat Duck chef wins Roux Scholarship

A CHEF at a Michelin starred restaurant in Bray has won The Roux Scholarship, securing £12,000 and experience in a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world.

Oli Williamson, 30, battled it out against five other finalists on Monday, October 25 at Westminster Kingsway College, preparing two mystery dishes in just three hours.

It was the first time the Roux Scholarship has convened since the passing of its founders Michel Roux OBE and Albert Roux OBE KFO, and in memory of their fathers Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr asked the chefs to prepare two recipes that are held dear in the Roux Family.

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Oli had to prepare Eggs Albert, in honour of Albert Roux, which was an artichoke heart filled with smoked salmon, trout and truffle, topped with a poached egg and adorned with a slice of smoked salmon.

Slough Observer:

The second, in honour of Michel Roux OBE was Little flans with snails in green coats. This comprised of snails and herb soufflé baked in a tartlet with beurre blanc sauce. The skill was not only perfecting the recipes but getting the timing exactly right and serving the two dishes five to ten minutes apart.

Alain Roux said: “We thought the two dishes paid respect to my father and uncle in the best possible way. They were favourites of theirs and became signature dishes. They made the dishes in the very early days when they opened Le Gavroche together and we continue to serve them occasionally, even today.”

The judging panel was led Björn Frantzén who was invited over from Stockholm to be Honorary President of Judges. He led the panel alongside joint chairmen Alain and Michel Jr, who were joined by Brian Turner, James Martin, as well as previous winners Sat Bains (1999 scholar) and Simon Hulstone (2003 scholar) and Rachel Humphrey.

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The sous chef at The Fat Duck in Bray, said: “It was my first time in the competition and it’s also my last because of the my age. It was really tough but great fun. I have changed my mental approach these last few days.

“I was very stressed at the Regional Finals and so I decided to just go for it and enjoy it and try to be less stressed. Two dishes were a lot to do, there were lots of smaller things, loads of little bits to bring together, and you needed to be smart with your ingredients.”

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