Sad News in the Chef Community
On the evening of Wednesday, March 11, 2020, chef Michel Roux, passed away. Roux had been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is a type of lung disease that is known for causing scarring of the lung for no reason. When the scarring gets worse with time, breathing becomes more difficult, this causes a person to be unable to bring in enough oxygen for their bodies to survive. It has been confirmed by Roux’s family that he passed away in his Berkshire, southeast England, home.
Chef Roux was born on April 19, 1941, in Charolles, France. His brother, Albert, and he made history when Le Gavroche (their restaurant) became Britain’s first three Michelin star restaurant in 1982. The brother’s other restaurant, Waterside Inn in Bray, was awarded three Michelin stars in 1985.
At the age of 14, he was an apprentice for a grand pâtissier (someone who makes or sells pastries) near Paris for three years as he perfected his craft. He later worked as a pastry chef for the British embassy in Paris. Later he was a commis chef (junior chef) for de Rothschild’s household. In 1960 he followed his brother to England to work.
Over the course of his career, Chef Roux founded a scholarship contest alongside his brother that would help other people interested in following their passion find success. They wanted to enable new generations of chefs to train in some of the great restaurants around the world. Many of these scholars have gone on to win Michelin stars of their own after they enrolled in the Roux Scholarship. The program is considered the most prestigious competition of its kind in the UK.
However, it is not just his skills in the kitchen or the competition that he was known for. In fact, his first book was published in 1983. In total, he wrote 15 books, selling more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.
Chef Roux’s own son looks to be following in his footsteps, as his son opened Skindles in Taplow with Roux in 2018.
Following news of his death, many people have taken to social media to pay tribute to the chef. He is survived by his wife, children, and various other family members. The chef shall be missed by all in the restaurant industry, as well as his many fans. He was 78 at the time of his death.
By Sheena Robertson. Edited by Kimberley Spinney.
BBC: Michel Roux: French restaurateur and chef dies aged 79
CNN: ‘Legendary’ chef Michel Roux dies aged 78
Independent: MICHEL ROUX DEATH: LEGENDARY CHEF DIES AGED 78
Image Courtesy of Roland Tanglao’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License