The Roux family confirmed that Albert had been unwell for some time and sadly passed away on January 4. His son, MasterChef star Michel Roux Jr said that his dad’s ‘sheer love of life and passion for making people happy through food’ would be missed. He said: ‘He was a mentor for so many people in the hospitality industry, and a real inspiration to budding chefs, including me.’ The Roux family asked for privacy at this time. Gordon Ramsay, who was trained by Roux, was among the first to pay tribute. He wrote on Instagram: ‘So so sad the hear about the passing of this legend , the man who installed Gastronomy in Britain, we’ve shared the same office for the last decade and walking up those stairs today is going to be really difficult, thank you Albert for everything you gave me, God Bless you Chef.’
Chef James Martin said: ‘Such a sad start to the year… Albert Roux was a true titan of the food scene in this country and inspired and trained some of the best and biggest names in the business. ‘RIP and today I will open a bottle of the finest red and raise a glass… in fact the bottle to you and your brother and say thank you for everything. My thoughts to all the Roux family and friends.’ Food critic Jay Rayner tweeted: ‘Albert Roux was an extraordinary man, who left a massive mark on the food story of his adopted country. The roll call of chefs who went through the kitchens of Le Gavroche alone, is a significant slab of a part of modern UK restaurant culture. RIP.’ Roux was best known for opening the London restaurant Le Gavroche with his brother Michel, which became the first restaurant in the UK to gain three Michelin stars. Enam Ali MBE, founder of The British Curry Awards said: “He brought fine dine cooking to the UK with his brother Michel. Both brothers made gastronomic history when their restaurant Le Gavroche became the first in Britain to earn three Michelin Stars. I met him in 1990 at the Bournemouth University and he was a great inspiration figure to the whole British hospitality industry. I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to the Roux family on their loss.”
He was also responsible for training some of the UK’s most famous chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Marco Pierre White. Born in 1935 at Semur-en-Brionnais, in the region of Saone et Loire in France, Roux began working as an apprentice patissier aged 14, and moved to the UK at 18 where he worked his way up the culinary ladder. After serving time in the military in Algeria, Roux worked as a sous chef at the British Embassy in Paris before returning to the UK. In 1967, he and his brother Michel opened Le Gavroche on Lower Sloane Street with just £3,000 each, borrowing the rest, and worked together, taking turns in the dining room and the kitchen.
However, the gamble paid off and in 1982, the brothers received three Michelin stars, making Le Gavroche the first restaurant in the UK to achieve the feat. In 1984, Albert and Michel set up the Roux Scholarship to give up and coming chefs the chance to work in Michelin-starred kitchens for three-month placements. Chefs who won the prize over the years include Sat Bains, Andrew Fairlie and Steve Drake.