Spencer Metzger, premier sous chef at The Ritz, has been named this year’s winner of the prestigious Roux Scholarship.
Metzger has been at the hotel for three years, working under acclaimed executive chef John Williams. Before The Ritz, the young chef, just 25, worked at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume.
After being given his award by Michel Roux Jr, he pithily commented: “I’m a bit lost for words. It’s a real, real honour so thank you very much.”
Metzger saw off stern competition, including Olivia Catherine Burt of Claridge’s, Lewis Linley of Le Vacherin, Michael Cruickshank of Bohemia in Jersey, Adam Harper of The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow in Derbyshire, and Ryan Baker, who happens to be Metzger’s colleague at The Ritz.
The Roux Scholarship was established by Michel and Albert Roux 35 years ago with the aim of finding the best young talent in the industry.
It comes with a £6,000 prize, mentoring from the Roux family, and the chance to take up a six month stint in one the world’s finest kitchens.
At this year’s final, at Westminster Kingsway College, the competitors were given half an hour to study a recipe and three hours to cook it.
The glittering (well, in a culinary sense) 2019 judging panel included 2019’s Honorary President Peter Gilmore, chairmen Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr (sons of Michel and Albert respectively), Brian Turner, Angela Hartnett, Clare Smyth, James Martin and Rachel Humphrey, as well as past winners Sat Bains, André Garrett and Simon Hulstone.