World-renowned chef and restaurateur Michel Roux dies
World renowned chef and restaurateur Michel Roux has died at the age of 78.
Famous for opening Le Gavroche in London with his brother Albert in 1967, the restaurant became the first in the UK to receive a Michelin star, and the French chef went on to win many awards and accolades throughout his career.
Part of the Roux culinary dynasty, he is widely regarded as one of the finest chefs to have cooked in the UK.
He died surrounded by his family at home in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire, after a long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
In a statement, his son Alain – also a chef – and daughters Francine and Christine said on behalf of the family: “It is with deep sadness that the Roux family announces the passing of our beloved grandfather, father, brother and uncle, Michel Roux OBE.
“The family would like to thank everyone for their support during his illness. While many of you will share our great sense of loss, we request privacy for the family at this difficult time.
“We are grateful to have shared our lives with this extraordinary man and we’re so proud of all he’s achieved.
“A humble genius, legendary chef, popular author and charismatic teacher, Michel leaves the world reeling in his wake.
“For many, he was a father figure inspiring all with his insatiable appetite for life and irresistible enthusiasm. But above all, we will miss his mischievous sense of fun, his huge, bottomless heart and generosity and kindness that knew no bounds.
“Michel’s star will shine forever lighting the way for a generation of chefs to follow.”
Dozens of chefs and others from the food and hospitality industries have also paid tribute.
The Michelin Guide described Roux as a “true titan” of the hospitality industry who “inspired a whole generation of chefs”.
“The UK restaurant scene would not be what it is today were it not for his influence. Our thoughts are with his family and the many who worked with this legendary chef,” it said in a tweet.
Born in the small town of Charolles in April 1941, Roux grew up living over his grandfather’s charcuterie, and developed a passion for cooking when the family moved to Paris in 1946, later starting his career as a pastry chef.
After arriving in London with Albert, the brothers revolutionised the British restaurant scene.
Not only did Le Gavroche become the first UK restaurant to receive a Michelin star, it went on to become the first to win two and then three, in 1982.
It is now run by his nephew and Albert’s son, TV chef and MasterChef: The Professionals star Michel Jr.
Le Gavroche was followed by the opening of The Waterside Inn in Bray in 1972.
In the inaugural Michelin Guide, published in 1974, The Waterside was awarded one star, then two in 1977 and three in 1985.
It is the only restaurant in the world outside France to have retained three stars ever since and Roux’s son Alain has been chef patron since 2001.