Often dubbed the longest-running culinary competition in Europe, the contest is open to chefs aged 24-39, with over five years’ professional experience.
National finals will take place in seven countries, with the UK event set for 23 September at the Roux at Parliament Square restaurant.
The winner of the UK competition will be chosen by the panel of judges, and announced by Roux Jr and Vitalie Taittinger, marketing director at Taittinger. The UK winner will receive a Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger, £2,000, a trophy, and a place in the International Final.
All UK finalists will receive a Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger.
The International Final will take place in Paris on 20 November. The overall winner will win €10,000 (£8,779), the runner up €4,800 (£4,214) and the 3rd place contestant €2,500 (£2,195).
The UK closing date for entries is 1 September 2017.
The 2016 and 2015 UK winner was Rajkumar Holuss (pictured with Roux Jr and Vitalie), 1st sous chef at the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn, Bray, which is overseen by Roux Jr’s cousin Alain Roux.
The UK final asks competitors to submit a recipe on a theme chosen by the organising committee. This year, it will include a roasted, stuffed rack of farmhouse pork, prepared with ingredients from a supplied list. They will also need to prepare a second dish based on a theme provided by Roux Jr one week before the competition.
“Champagne Taittinger has always been committed to the promotion of young, upcoming chefs,” says Vitalie.
“They are the future of highly skilled culinary talent and this competition is for them. It is tough, but showcases the best. I am delighted to have Michel Roux Jr as UK Presidential judge again this year, himself one of the finest chefs in the UK.”
The overall winner of the competition in 2016 was Julien Richard from Hotel Bendor in Les Iles Paul Ricard in France.
Champagne Taittinger is based in Reims, France, but recently became the first French Champagne house to plant vines in the UK, at its Domaine Evremond vineyard in Kent.
The UK planting at Domaine Evremond, Kent
Full list of UK judges
- Michel Roux Jr, head judge
- Amandine Chaignot – The Rosewood
- Steve Groves – Roux on Parliament Sq
- Mark Flanagan – Royal Chef
- Romauld Feger – Four Seasons Park Lane
- Simon Hulstone – The Elephant
- Michael Wignall – Gidleigh Park
- Claude Bosi – Bibendum
- Arnaud Bignon – The Greenhouse
- Pascal Aussignac – Club Gascon
- Mike Reid – M Restaurants