April Lily Partridge wins the Roux Scholarship 2023

The Staff Canteen

April Lily Partridge, sous chef at two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, becomes the second woman to win The Roux Scholarship since it started in 1983.

Alongside the other finalists, Ben Champkin from The Newt; Christopher Clarke from Core; Oliver Dovey from Baxterstorey, Sam Lomas from Glebe House and Alex Rothnie from L'Enclume - April had to create a dish based on a recipe inspired by the Troisgros family, Pate Chaud de Lotte (hot monkfish pie). How they created it was up to them and she certainly impressed the judges to take the title on her first year entering the competition.

Talking to The Staff Canteen, she said: "I'm so shocked. I'm not lost for words very often but I'm just blown away - I feel like I've just won the lottery.

"I came here really content that I had made the top six and I was really happy and proud of that." 

On being the second woman to achieve the title she was quick to mention her female commis, 'repping the girls in the kitchen', saying: "I couldn't have done it without her."

She added: "The last woman who won it was when I was born, that is almost thirty years ago. It's really special and amazing and I hope it inspires more women to enter."

April now joins an amazing list of chefs including of course Mercy Fenton (the first female scholar), Andrew Fairlie, Sat Bains, Mark Birchall, Tom Barnes and Oli Williamson.

She said: "I've done things over the years and failed so many times, my confidence was so dented that I didn't want to do any competitions again. It was Oli (Williamson) who told me to put an entry in so that I wouldn't regret not doing it one day. It was such a last minute entry and I owe a lot to him. 

"So many of my heroes and people I admire are Roux Scholars - what a priviledge, to be amongst them and in their company, is just super humbling."



As winner of the Roux Scholarship, she will receive up to £12,000, a two-month stage at a three Michelin-starred restaurant anywhere in the world, or the option of a bespoke training programme tailored to her interests and skills gaps, in addition to a number of prizes from the competition's sponsors.

Her advice to anyone thinking about entering the competion is: "100 percent enter! I never ever thought I would have the confidence to enter this competion, let alone.. I can't believe I'm saying this, win it. 

"Go for it. It's amazing the people you meet, putting yourself out of your comfort zone - I'd recommend anyone to try it. It's life changing, I've seen the people who have won the scholarship before and to see where they are now makes me really excited that this will really help me grow in my career."  


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd April 2023

April Lily Partridge wins the Roux Scholarship 2023