A 29-year-old sous chef from Lucknam Park in Colerne, Wiltshire, has been named 2009 Roux Scholar. Hrishikesh Desai, who works with the Michelin-starred chef Hywel Jones at the luxury, country house hotel, won the title following a fierce cook-off in the kitchens of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park this afternoon.
The announcement was made by Albert Roux at a Champagne reception this evening. Desai (pictured left with Alain Roux) commented: “The Roux Scholarship is the competition as far as I’m concerned and I’ve entered before but failed to reach the finals. I am so relieved to have managed to win after just one attempt at the final.”
Desai, who credited Hywel Jones as being the “driving force” behind his recent career, and his fellow competitors were judged by Albert, Michel, Michel Junior and Alain Roux, Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Fairlie (the first winner of the Roux Scholarship title), David Nicholls, Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner and guest judge, Bloomberg food critic Richard Vines.