The finalists who will now go on to compete in the national final next month are: Quinton Bennett, Haymarket Hotel, London; Mark Birchall, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria; Richard Edwards, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire; Pramod Ghadge, Restaurant Associates, London; Neven Vanderzee, Galvin At Windows, London; and Nick Whatmough, Restaurant Associates, Barclays Wealth, London.
The six beat stiff competition from colleagues in two regional heats held on Thursday, where contestants had 2.5 hours to prepare a monkfish dish according to recipes they had earlier submitted.
Contestants were also presented with a mystery box for dessert, which presented some challenges due to its unexpected combination of chocolate and rhubarb ingredients.
“The mystery box threw some of them, chocolate and rhubarb are never going to work but we saw this as a test,” said Michel Roux Jnr, who was one of the judges at the regional heat in Ealing.
James Martin, who was amongst judges in the Birmingham heat, added: “The mystery ingredients for the dessert are great this year. I think the clue was in the instructions that you can take one item out - that should have been the chocolate in my opinion. What would I do if I were given the mystery box? I would make a homemade Charlotte Russe, served with homemade custard and served with rhubarb.”
Roux Scholarship - final
The six finalists now go through to the National Final, which takes place at Westminster Kingsway College, London, on 18 April 2011.
The recipe details for the final will remain unknown until the last minute. Half an hour before the start of the competition, finalists will be given the recipe and ingredients for a main dish, either classic or modern and asked to prepare and present it to the judges in 2 hours.
The 2011 Roux Scholar will be announced at the Award ceremony at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London the same evening.