Legendary French chef, honorary Englishman and icon of British gastronomy Michel Roux Sr. has died, at the age of 79. He was said to have died from a longstanding lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Roux founded his restaurant Le Gavroche in Sloane Square, in 1967, together with his brother Albert, and is widely recognised as one of the seminal figures of Britain’s fine dining scene, with an immeasurable influence.
It was Michel and Albert Roux who began Marco Pierre White’s classical training as a Commis Chef at Le Gavroche. Pierre Koffmann, Sat Bains and Gordan Ramsay also came under the tutelage of the Roux brothers.
The restaurant was the first in Britain to be awarded a Michelin star in 1972 and the first to be awarded three stars, in 1982. Le Gavroche is still open today, run by the chef’s nephew Michel Roux Jr. Roux Snr was also behind The Waterside Inn in Bray, which also holds three Michelin stars to this day.
A statement from the family reads: “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”.