A talented Leeds chef is to compete against the nation’s cooking elite in the semi-finals of the prestigious Roux Scholarship competition.
Richard Pascoe, 24, a junior sous chef at Oulton Hall, has secured a coveted place among 18 young chefs in the regional finals tomorrow of the competition - considered one of the best in the country.
Set up by cooking legends, brothers Albert and Michel Roux in 1984, the contest is open to chefs aged under 30 working in the UK. It tests technical skills, a chef’s palate and the history of cooking with a top prize of working three months at any three Michelin star restaurant in the world - all expenses paid.
Australian-born Richard has been working at the Leeds hotel since January, after a brief stint the The New Ellington in the city centre. Tomorrow he will be cooking a venison-based dish - which is the brief - in Birmingham in front of judges Alain Roux and well-known Nottingham chef Sat Bains.
The simultaneous southern round taking place in London has judges including Michel Roux Jnr, James Martin and Angela Hartnett.
He said: “I’d heard of most of the judges before I even came over to England, so to meet them and have them judging me is quite exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I’m just going to focus on the food I’ll be cooking on the day and do my best.”
Richard’s dish includes beetroot, artichoke cream, artichoke crisps and suede as well as foraged leaves from around the Oulton Hall estate.
He said his colleagues will be rooting for him on the day.
“They’ve been very supportive. They’ve allowed me time to practice, and ordered in what I need and allowed me to use a lot of equipment. Everyone’s behind me,” he said.
Richard will also be up against another of the region’s chefs - Adam Rasburn, of Lindley, Huddersfield, senior sous chef at The Design House Restaurant in Halifax. Adam, 28, entered last year - when the competition was also televised - and reached the final ten. He said cooking in front of such high calibre judges is always daunting.
“It’s scary but they’re all really encouraging. Everyone wants everything to go well.”
Adam’s dish includes spiced roasted venison and a sunflower seed ragu. He said: “It’s always hard but I’m confident of my dish. It depends on the competition as well. I’m going to give it all I can and hope for the best.”