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Top 100: Michel Roux Jr, Le Gavroche

19 April 2018 by

Overall ranking: 24 (24 in 2012)

Chef ranking: 7 (4 in 2012)

Snapshot

As the son of Albert Roux, one of Britain's most iconic chefs, Michel Roux Jr has been under the spotlight from the start. In 1991, he took over as chef de cuisine of the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche restaurant in London's Mayfair, which his father Albert and uncle Michel founded in 1967. In 2010, he took the family name a bit further, expanding in the capital with the opening of Roux at Parliament Square and, with his father, Roux at the Landau at the five-AA-star, 380-bedroom Langham, London hotel. With his cousin Alain Roux, son of Michel, Roux heads the judging panel of the Roux Scholarship, now in its 35th year. Beyond the hospitality industry, Roux has become a public figure through his extensive television appearances, most notably as a presenter on Masterchef: The Professionals. Le Gavroche is reported to have a net worth of £2.9m.

What we think

Roux, now 57, trained with the best, including spending two influential years as a commis under the late three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Chapel at Mionnay in France, before moving on to complete his military service at the Élysée Palace, serving both Presidents Giscard d'Estaing and François Mitterrand. A plethora of jobs followed in France and London, as well a brief stint at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong before he joined the family business full time at the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, in 1985.

Roux then moved through the portfolio of businesses that made up Roux Restaurants at the time, which included Roux Patisserie, Le Poulbot and Le Gamin.

Roux has also flexed his business muscles. In April 2006, he became a consultant for Compass Group's fine-dining division Restaurant Associates and in partnership they opened Roux at Parliament Square in 2010.

Spreading his wings at Roux at the Landau at the Langham, London, has been a great success too. In 2015, a new five-year agreement saw him and his father take over the running of the entire F&B operation at the hotel. The deal extended further in 2017, when Roux opened the Wigmore pub at the Langham.

Roux has established himself as a prolific television presenter, initially on BBC TV's Masterchef: The Professionals, followed by Service, the Great British Food Revival, and Food & Drink, among other programmes. He is also the author of seven cookery books and involved with the Roux Experience courses at the Cactus Kitchens' cookery school, along with the executive producer of Saturday Kitchen, Amanda Ross.

Roux (and Le Gavroche) have earned countless awards, including the Special Award at the Catey Awards. He is a member of the Wine Committee to the Royal Household.

What stands out about Roux is that he moves with the times. In 2010, he launched an iPhone app, Michel Roux: Fine Dining with the Masterchef, which was based around classic Le Gavroche dishes.

And he is swift to make changes when found to be wrong. In 2016, an investigation by The Guardian exposed that kitchen staff at Le Gavroche were working up to 68 hours a week for as little as £5.50 an hour. As well as promising to make up shortfalls in pay, he pledged to reduce working hours to a maximum of 50 hours a week and created a five-day working week.

With daughter Emily now a well-established chef in her own right, working as a consultant at Restaurant Associates, the Roux dynasty is clearly secure for some time to come.

Further information

Star of the stage: Roux Scholar 2017 Luke Selby shares what he learned during his stage at Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo >>

Michel Roux Jr to open London pub at the Langham >>

Michel Roux Jr: 'I ballsed up on pay, but it won't happen again' >>

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