The annual competition was put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and will now be postponed until March 2021.
The 18 regional finalists, as well as the first reserve, selected at the paper judging stage in March this year will automatically qualify as regional finalists for 2021. They will cook their recipes for hake, palourde clams and leeks in the regional cook-offs at University College Birmingham and at the University of West London on 4 March 2021. T
The judges will be Michel Roux Jr, Alain Roux, Brian Turner, Clare Smyth, Angela Hartnett, Rachel Humphrey, James Martin, Sat Bains (1999 Scholar), André Garrett (2002 Scholar) and Simon Hulstone (2003 Scholar).
The six most successful chefs will be selected to compete in the national final on 29th March 2021, when honorary president of judges Björn Frantzén, from three-star Michelin Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm, will lead the panel of judges.
There will be no application process in 2021.
“Having to close down the competition this year, as well as our restaurants, has dealt a double blow,” says chairman Alain Roux.
“But optimism and resilience define our industry and the same is true of the Scholarship. We’ve set dates to reconvene next spring and so the excitement continues.
"We cannot wait to find our 2020/2021 Scholar. Meanwhile, I would like to thank all our fantastic competitors, judges, sponsors and supporters for their patience and support.”
“Everyone in hospitality is working furiously towards reopening and in many cases to keep afloat. It’s only right that the scholarship is postponed to 2021, when hopefully we will all be in a much better place to complete the competition and celebrate together as family and friends,” says co-chairman Michel Roux Jr.
The regional finalists are:
Scott Braithwaite, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
Jonathan Ferguson, The Raby Hunt Restaurant, Co. Durham
Oliver Marlow, Roganic, London
Curtis Tonge, The Bull & Bear, Manchester
Jac Webster, The Angel at Hetton, Yorkshire
Joshua Fulcher, Restaurant 22, Cambridge
Benjamin Champkin, The Newt, Somerset
Caer Timberlake, Restaurant 22, Cambridge
Ryan Baker, Maison Francois, London
Julian Elkjaer, Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
Oli Williamson, London
Conor Bird, House of Commons, London
Christos Sidiropoulos, The Ritz, London
Stephen McClarty, Restaurant Associates, London
Tobias Smith, The Leathersellers Company, London
Olivia Catherine Burt, Claridge’s, London
Michael Cruickshank, Bohemia, Jersey
Oliver Dovey, BaxterStorey Fine Dining, London
Connor Wilson, The Traddock, North Yorkshire - Wilson will compete as the 19th regional finalist because in March he had to step in when a chef couldn’t make it due to Covid-19 restrictions and it would have been unfair to make him stand down again