Following the paper judging round last week, judges, led by the Roux family, selected their final 18 who will compete in the two regional finals - in London and Birmingham - on 12 March.
Judge Andrew Fairlie, winner of the scholarship in 1986, said: “The standard this year was very high which made the judging tougher than ever. I’m pleased to see so many chefs in the finals representing restaurants from right across the country.”
Birmingham finalists are:
- Harry Guy, L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
- Tom Lawson, Rafters Restaurant, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
- Richard Pascoe, The Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley, North Yorkshire
- Ben Queen-Fryer, The Coach House Café & Bistro, Ulverston, Cumbria
- Sam Rush, The Banningham Crown, Banningham, Norfolk
- Dion Wyn Jones, Crewe Hall Hotel, Crewe, Cheshire
London finalists are:
- James Devine, Black Cat Restaurant, Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
- Scott Dineen, Goldman Sachs, (BaxterStorey), London
- Gavin Edney, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire
- Luke Fouracre, Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking, Surrey
- Sabrina Gidda, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, (Restaurant Associates), London
- Ollie Hay, Clifford Chance (Restaurant Associates), London
- Win Hai Lau, The Shepherd & Dog, Stowmarket, Suffolk
- Daniel Lee, JP Morgan, (Aramark), London
- Jozef Rogulski, The Stafford Hotel, London
- David Salt, Allen and Overy, (Searcy’s), London
- Sushant Sanzgiri, Hilton Hotel, Kensington, London
- Ian Scaramuzza, Hibiscus Restaurant, London
All regional finalists will be given two and a half hours to create a recipe to serve four people using two whole guinea fowl, chicken livers and two garnishes, one of which should include spinach leaves and a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients given to them on the day.
Judges - chefs Alain Roux, Angela Hartnett and Steve Love (Birmingham) and Michel Roux Jr, Andrew Fairlie and David Nicholls (London) - will look for competitors with the best balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish before putting six of them through to the final which takes place at Westminster Kingsway College in London.
The winner, announced at a ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London, will be given the chance to experience a three-month stage at a three Michelin star restaurant anywhere in the world as well as join the prestigious Roux Scholar alumni.