In this opening episode we discover why The Roux Scholarship is Britain's toughest and most respected cookery competition. We meet the legendary Roux family and the tough line-up of stellar judges - including Rick Stein and James Martin - as they choose the 18 semi-finalists who will fight for cooking's most prestigious prize.
The First Challenge: Andrew Fairlie & Raymond Blanc.
The Rouxs send the first group of semi-finalists to join Roux Judge Andrew Fairlie at his 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Gleneagles, Scotland to find out more about them. Andrew puts them under pressure with a series of challenges and Raymond Blanc flies in to up the ante.
Rick & Jack Stein
The Rouxs send their second group of semi-finalists to join the scholarship Judge Rick Stein at his cookery school in Padstow, Cornwall. With his son Jack, they put the competitors through their paces with a series of challenges in preparation for the semi-final cook offs.
Angela Hartnett & James Martin
The Rouxs send the last group of semi-finalists to join Angela Hartnett at her hotel in the New Forest. The surprise arrival of James Martin really puts them under pressure as they're tested with recipe challenges. James tests them with sugar spinning and a stunning gateaux.
All 18 semi-finalists must now cook their competition dishes for the Roux family and their intimidating line up of judges including Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett and James Martin, across two fierce heats. Only 6 finalists will go forward into the next week of special challenges and trips ahead of the grand finale. A tense elimination cook off.
Albert Roux Masterclass
The 6 finalists join the Roux Scholarship co-founder and cooking legend Albert Roux in the spectacular setting of Cliveden House ? where he first worked in UK when it was the Astor's private home. He gives a series of challenges to prepare them for the final cook off and a surprise line up of former Roux Scholars are smuggled in to judge the competitors efforts.
Alain Roux Masterclass
The 6 finalists get more exclusive access to the legendary Roux family. They join Alain Roux at the family's iconic Waterside Inn, which has held 3 Michelin stars for nearly 30 years. Alain challenges them to replicate some true French classics and along with the restaurant's legendary Maitre'd they test the competitor's front of house and wine matching skills.
Michel Roux Jr Masterclass
The 6 finalists join the enigmatic Michel Roux Jr at his iconic London restaurant Le Gavroche for a lesson in the art of creating mouth-watering menus and how to pitch unusual dishes to dubious diners. At his cookery school he challenges them to use mismatched ingredients to create appetising recipes. When it comes to tasting they are surprised with a line-up of their own mentors.
Michel Roux Masterclass
The 6 finalists are jetted out to Switzerland to the home of Roux Scholarship founder Michel Roux for their last masterclass ahead of the final cook offs. He gives them a series of challenges on the mountain slopes and their families are secretly flown in for an emotional surprise appearance as secret diners.
It's D Day for the 6 finalists as they find out what challenging and technical dish they will have to cook for the extraordinary line up of judges including the Roux family, Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett and James Martin. Only one will be crowned the Roux Scholar 2013 and walk off with a money can't buy prize.