Legendary French-born chef and restaurateur Michel Roux has died aged 78. He passed away peacefully this week surrounded by his family at home in Bray, Berkshire, following a long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Michel’s son Alain and daughters, Francine and Christine, on behalf of the family said: “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”.
Michel Roux changed the face of restaurants when he and brother Albert opened Le Gavroche in London’s Lower Sloane Street in 1967. It became the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain in 1982 and a beacon for excellence in the UK dining scene.
In 1972 the pair acquired the Waterside Inn in Bray, which was awarded three Michelin stars in 1985.
The brothers separated their business interests in 1986 with Albert taking over Le Gavroche and Michel heading up the Waterside Inn. He handed over the restaurant to his son, Alain, in 2002 – the same year he was awarded an OBE.
The restaurant remains the only in the country to have retained its three Michelin star status for 35 years.
Between Michel and Albert, his older, surviving brother now 85, they wrote a mountain of cook books as useful to the professional as to the enthusiastic amateur. They set up scholarships and became icons in our industry. The brothers created a dynasty that will continue in the safe hands of their children and probably grandchildren.
(Content courtesy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper)