Chefs compete in national final for Roux scholarship

The Princess of Shoreditch's Ruth Hansom

The Princess of Shoreditch's Ruth Hansom - Credit: John Carey

Two chefs from north London are among six finalists to compete for the prestigious culinary Roux Scholarship on Monday April 11. 

Ruth Hansom, 26, from Finchley, and Christos Sidiropoulos, 28, from Cricklewood, impressed the judges with their original recipes at the semi-final. 

The final will be held at Westminster Kingsway College, London, where the chefs will have three hours to prepare a classic recipe to be revealed to them on the day.

Ruth, head chef of The Princess of Shoreditch and a former Great British Menu finalist, said: “I was a bit nervous before, but I like the butterflies that come with that. 

“For the final, I’ll just keep practicing classic things, and preparing for different scenarios.”

The semi-finals saw 18 chefs prepare their own unique recipe which had to include two fresh dover soles, brown shrimp, and home-made pasta, and dessert with mystery ingredients announced on the day. 

Chef Christos Sidiropoulos

Chef Christos Sidiropoulos - Credit: Christos Sidiropoulos

Christos, sous chef at Flemings Mayfair, said: “It was a very tough competition but, if you do a lot of practice beforehand, you can be more sure of yourself and that’s what I did.”

Most Read

Originally from Greece, Christos came to London four years ago and hopes to open pop-up restaurants combining Greek, French, and British cuisine. 

He said: “Becoming a chef changed my whole life. When I’m in the kitchen I feel at home, it’s a place where I feel myself.”

Ruth moved from Darlington to London 10 years ago and has already won several cooking competitions including the Craft Guild’s Young Chef of the Year in 2017. 

She said: “I started growing vegetables in my parent’s garden when I was 12 and realised I needed to be able to cook with them, so I started watching cookery programmes.”

Both chefs will compete against four others for the prize of £6,000 and the opportunity to work in any Michelin-starred kitchen for three months.

Launched in 1983 by Michelin-starred brothers Albert and Michel Roux, the Roux Scholarship is a culinary competition and judged by leading British chefs including Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr, sons of the founders.