Michel Roux Jr’s earliest memories are the smells from the kitchen where his father Albert Roux worked as a private chef for the Cazalet family – pastry, sugar caramelizing and stews. He played under the table while his father and mother Monique prepared the meals.
After deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps, he left school at 16 for the first of several apprenticeships at Maître Patissier, Hellegouarche in Paris from 1976 to 1979. He was then Commis de Cuisine at Alain Chapel’s signature restaurant at Mionay near Lyon, Michel’s biggest influence.
His military service was spent in the kitchens at the Elysée Palace at the time of Presidents Giscard d’Estaing and François Mitterrand. He also spent time at Boucherie Lamartine and Charcuterie Mothu in Paris, and the Gavvers Restaurant in London.
After a stint at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong he returned to London and worked at La Tante Claire before joining the family business, Le Gavroche, Michelin Two Star restaurant in London, in 1991.
Michel opened Roux at Parliament Square in May 2010 And in November 2010, he opened Roux at The Landau at London’s prestigious luxury hotel, The Langham.
Michel is a judge and presenter on MasterChef: The Professionals, and has been a presenter on all three series of the Great British Food Revival.
Most recently Michel, his celebrated chef father Albert Roux and Roux Jr’s daughter Emily opened two new fine-dining restaurants in Scotland, named Albert and Michel Roux Jr, at Inverlochy Castle near Fort William and Crossbasket Castle in Blantyre.
At the time Michel Roux Jr said: “There is so much fantastic produce and talent to be found in the area. I’m particularly thrilled about Emily coming on board – my father and I are classically French in style whereas Emily is slightly more contemporary in her cooking. It makes for a great dynamic, and a very exciting time for the Rouxs.”
Michel will be at the BBC Good Food Show Scotland at the SECC on 5th November. Before his next visit to Glasgow, we had Five Quick Questions.
1. What is your favourite dish to cook?
I love soufflés especially the Suissesse cheese soufflé. Our signature dish at Le Gavroche and a classic Roux recipe.
2. What is your top tip for festive cooking?
Plan well in advance your menu, do tried and tested recipes and stay away from the festive drinks until it’s all ready.
3. What is your most treasured item in the kitchen?
My set of knives from Global (Grunwerg), no one else is allowed to touch them.
4. What are you most looking forward to about the BBC Good Food Shows?
The crowds are amazing, the atmosphere is tangible
5. What new ingredient or ingredients are you inspired by right now?
Game season is always an inspiration to me, I love the classics but game is so versatile that it just keeps on giving.