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Fri 2 May 2008 04:00 AM

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Roux scholarship tour arrives in Dubai

The UK's culinary elite visited Dubai in April as part of the Roux Scholarship tour. "It's an educational tour, which gives the scholars a chance to discover the city.

The UK's culinary elite visited Dubai in April as part of the Roux Scholarship tour. "It's an educational tour, which gives the scholars a chance to discover the city.

"Dubai has some of the most beautiful restaurants in the world, and at least 75% of these scholars have never been here before so I thought that it would be a great occasion for them to learn more about Dubai," explained Michel Roux, OBE.

This year, past winners and some of the judging panel, including celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner, David Nicholls and the original Roux Scholar Andrew Fairlie all accompanied the tour.

"Twenty-five years ago we started this scholarship and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would become so successful," said Roux.

Widely acknowledged as the definitive UK competition for up-and-coming chefs, the scholarship gives aspiring restaurateurs a chance to join an exclusive club, explained Andre Garrett, Scholar and head chef, Galvin at Windows, Hilton on Park Lane.

"It's not like winning a chef of the year award.

"When you become a Roux scholar you join a network for life and you get to know and work with the best in the industry - like Gary Rhodes and David Nicholls," he said.

While in Dubai, the scholars had a four-day tour of the region, which included visiting top restaurants and tourist destinations including the Burj Al Arab and the Emirates Golf Club explained Roux.

"It's a learning experience but at the same time we get to enjoy ourselves and bond with fellow chefs because friendship in this industry is very important."

"Roux's visit is the stamp of approval for the region and marks the acceptance of Dubai into the world's most renowned membership club," said Grosvenor House general manager Pam Wilby.

"Once a Roux Scholar, always a Roux Scholar and winning the competition changes a chef's life," said Roux.

"Not only does it put their career straight into the culinary fast track, but they join a club that provides career mentoring under the wings of the Roux family," he concluded.

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