Farewell to Albert Roux the chef who inspired Britain's taste for fine dining
We said a sad farewell to legendary Michelin starred chef Albert Roux who died last week leaving an extraordinary legacy. He was not only co-founder, with his late brother Michel, of the famous cooking dynasty behind such establishments as Le Gavroche but could reasonably claim to have inspired a taste for fine-dining in the UK
It all started back in 1952, when Roux’s godfather - a chef for the Duchess of
Windsor - secured him a job working at Cliveden for LadyNancy Astor.
The then 18-year-old Roux set off for a post-war England that at the time had a reputation as the land of overdone steaks, boiled vegetables and stodgy puddings with lumpy custard. Not for long.
After a string of distinguished private employments, the Roux brothers opened Le Gavroche in Mayfair - the first restaurant in Britain to win three Michelin stars and the Queen Mother’s favourite.
Albert would share his memories of those heady days when he appeared in An Audience with Albert Roux for Clive Conway Productions. One of his gifts, was the ability to very quickly recognise very quickly the abilities of those working for him.
This explains why, for a time, every top chef in the country seemed to have passed through his kitchens: Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Koffman, Marcus Wareing, and Marco Pierre White have all benefited from his tutelage
Albert would talk about his own achievements - the OBE and Legion d’Honneur - with pleasure but a total absence of pomposity, saying: “Obviously the Michelin stars make the sponsors happy but they don’t make a
bit of difference for the diners. A whole young generation of chefs in this country have become obsessed with them, but they should just cook, and if the customers keep coming back, the stars will come by themselves.” Farewell Albert Roux. You will be missed.