Raj Holuss, 1st Sous Chef at Waterside, Bray was announced as the winner of the 50th Taittinger Prix Culinaire International competition this weekend. Following a closely fought final of the competition at Roux at Parliament Square, UK Presidential Judge, Michel Roux Jr, and Champagne Taittinger’s Marketing Director, Vitalie Taittinger, revealed Raj as the winner at the evening celebration.
Raj, who was named the winner for the second year running, was joined in the final by Quentin Plateaux, Sous Chef, at Roux at Landau and Samuel Fisk, Head Chef at Freshfields – Restaurant Associates. The three finalists each had to prepare their classic dish on a theme chosen by the organising committee, which this year was a whole fillet of beef. They were also tasked with preparing a second dish based on the theme of a classic Diplomat Pudding chosen by Michel Roux Jr on the night.
All three UK finalists received a Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger and Raj received £2,000 and a trophy. He will now go forward to compete in the international final in Paris on 16th November, where he will be joined by the winners from Japan, France, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland.
Comments Vitalie Taittinger “Congratulations to Raj on winning this year’s 50th Prix Culinaire title. There is always an outstandingly high level of competition at Taittinger Prix Culinaire, and this year was no exception. Raj took the title after fighting off incredibly talented opposition and it is a remarkable achievement to do this for the second year running, we hope this stands him in good stead as he goes forward to represent the UK in the international final later this year.”
The competition, which was set up 50 years ago, is open to chefs between the ages of 24 and 39, with over five years’ experience. Often referred to as the ‘Everest of Gastronomy’, it demonstrates Champagne Taittinger’s commitment to the promotion of young, upcoming chefs. Seven countries will host national finals, including the UK final.
This year’s 11-strong judging panel headed up by Michel Roux Jr, of Le Gavroche, included Claude Bosi from Hibiscus, Arnaud Bignon from The Greenhouse, Rachel Humphrey from Le Gavroche, Michael Wignall from Gidleigh Park, Romauld Feger from the 4 Seasons Park Lane, Steve Groves from Roux at Parliament Square, Emily Roux, Royal Chef – Mark Flanagan along with the Rosewood’s Amandine Chaignot and Andre Garret from Clivedon - who were both previous finalists of this highly regarded, prestigious culinary prize.