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Leicestershire Chef Reaches Finals of National Cooking Competition

A Leicestershire born chef has made it through to the national finals of a prestigious cooking competition.

Christopher Clarke is one of six talented chef to have made it through to the final of the Roux Scholarship, something which is said to rank among ‘the most prestigious competitions for chefs in the world.’

Leicester Time: Leicestershire Chef Reaches Finals of National Cooking Competition
Picture: Christopher Clarke

Michel and Albert Roux established the Roux Scholarship in 1983, rewarding the winner a two-month posting at a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world.

Mr Clarke, who grew up in Coalville, is currently Chef de Partie at the international-acclaimed Core by Clare Smyth – which has three Michelin stars – in London.

He entered his culinary career later than most, having completed a PhD in chemistry first.

Commenting on the semi final, which took place in Birmingham last month, Mr Clarke said: “It was really hard to be honest, I’ve never done anything like it before, so I was surprised by how quick the time went; in fact, I even asked if the clock was wrong! All the other chefs were to such a high standard. It’s my last chance, so I’m really happy to have got through to the final.”

For the final, chefs will be presented with a dish to cook, with no prior warning.

The final will take place at Westminster Kingsway College in London on April 3, and Mr Clarke will be up against Ben Champkin, from Yeovil, Oliver Dovey from Baxterstorey in London, Sam Lomas from Glebe House in Devon, April Lily Partridge from The Ledbury in London and Alex Rothnie from L’Enclume in Cumbria.

As well as invaluable experience of working at a three-star Michelin restaurant, the winner will also be awarded with up to £12,000, or the option of a bespoke training programme tailored to their interests and skills gaps.

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