The outstandingly talented and influential French restaurateur and chef Michel Roux has sadly died aged 78 surrounded by his family at home in Bray, Berkshire. It is believed he had been battling a long-standing lung condition.
In a statement released by his family, including son Alain and daughters Francine and Christine, they 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 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.”
Roux opened Le Gavroche in London’s Lower Sloane Street alongside his brother Albert in 1967, which later became the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain in 1982. The pair went on to open the Waterside Inn in Bray, also awarded three Michelin stars.
The brothers also founded the Roux Scholarship in 1984, a competition enabling the next generation of chefs to train in some of the world’s best restaurants.
Many chefs have paid tribute to Roux on social media including Gordon Ramsey, Angela Hartnett and James Martin. Raymond Blanc named Roux and his brother Albert the “pioneers” who changed the world of gastronomy in the UK.
The family announced plans to hold a celebration of life open to the public later in the year following a private family funeral in the coming days.