Rushden chef hoping to impress world’s best

Rushden chef Jordan Bayes has made the final 18. NNL-191103-132759005
Rushden chef Jordan Bayes has made the final 18. NNL-191103-132759005

A chef who grew up in Rushden has made the final of a prestigious cooking competition.

Jordan Bayes, 23, is one of 18 cooks battling it out in the 2019 Roux Scholarship, a competition between the country’s finest professional young chefs.

After winning through to the regional final he will face some of London’s finest chefs in Ealing, cooking for the world-renowned Michel Roux Jr, Sat Bains and James Martin on Thursday (March 14).

Eighteen will be whittled down to six finalists with the winner earning training at a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world as well as a host of prizes.

Jordan said: “It would be a dream come true to win.

“It’s a chance to be part of the Roux family and people who have won it in previous years have gone on to do incredible things.”

Jordan grew up in Rushden and went to Rushden Community College, now Rushden Academy.

He gained an apprenticeship at The Courtyard Hotel in Stanwick, which has since been renamed The Stanwick Hotel, where he learned the basics.

He left to work at Oundle Mill before moving to Suffolk to work at Tuddenham Mill near Newmarket, where he is currently sous chef.

Jordan, whose family still live in the area, said: “I was always interested in cooking when I was younger.

“I used to watch cooking videos a lot and did some work experience when I was about 15.”

Regional finalists will have two-and-a-half hours to prepare, cook and plate two dishes.

One must involve hogget - the meat of a sheep aged between lamb and mutton - a potato rosti and a sauce.

Jordan is making hogget kidneys, a rosti cooked in beef dripping and a bordelaise sauce with marrow bone, mushrooms and parsley.

He will also have to make a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients.

Jordan said: “I’m a bit nervous. When I found out [I was through] I was in bits, I didn’t think I’d make the final.

“Just the chance to mix with these sort of people will be amazing.”

If Jordan makes it to the final six he will cook again in the final showdown in London on April 1.

Roux Scholarship chairman Alain Roux said: “The level seems to be very high this year.

“It’s good to see so many first-time applicants which shows that – even after all the years the competition has been running – it is still regarded by the younger generation of chefs as a competition with a high value.”