London restaurant Roussillon has closed after more than a decade but former chef-patron Alexis Gauthier hopes to buy back the business.
The former Michelin-starred restaurant in Pimlico shut on 1 June, blaming the financial downturn for its closure. A spokeswoman for the restaurant said: "Due to the economical climate Roussillon is now closed as of 1 June 2012. We would like to thank all of the customers for their support and custom over the years."
Roussillon, which first opened in 1998 with Gauthier at its helm, held a Michelin star from 2000 to 2010. It lost its star following the departure of Gauthier, who together with sommelier Roberto Della Pietra, left to set up Gauthier Soho in 2010.
Since Gauthier's departure, Roussillon has had two head chefs: Dan Gill who joined in 2010 from Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons but left less than a year later, and former Michelin-starred chef Shane Hughes, who was previously in charge of the kitchens at Ynyshir Hall in Wales.
Gauthier said it was very sad that Roussillon had closed. "It's heartbreaking for me to see this after 10 years of hard work and trying to establish a business," he said.
"The problem was not the chefs at Roussillon but the way the business was being run. You can't have a bunch of lawyers running a restaurant; you have to have a chef-proprietor in charge who knows what he's doing."
Gauthier added that he would love to buy back the restaurant and return it to its former glory. "I did consider taking it over and it's still something I would like to do," he said.
"I contacted the landlords but at the moment nothing is happening. But there is definitely a market for a good neighbourhood restaurant in Pimlico and there are hundreds of loyal customers in the area. I would love to re-energise Roussillon and bring back the good spirit."
By Kerstin Kühn
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