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Tributes paid to celebrated chef Albert Roux

Tributes have been paid to Albert Roux, the chef and ‘culinary great’ credited with revolutionising restaurant culture in the UK alongside his brother Michel, who has died at the age of 85.

The pair were most renowned for their London restaurant Le Gavroche, which they opened in 1967 using Albert’s savings and money borrowed from friends. In 1982, it became the first in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars.

Many of the UK restaurant scene’s leading figures worked for the brothers, including Gordon Ramsay, who wrote on Instagram: ‘So, so sad to hear about the passing of this legend, the man who installed gastronomy in Britain.’

The Roux family announced ‘the sad passing of Albert Roux OBE, KFO, who had been unwell for a while, at the age of 85 on 4 January 2021’.

The family statement added: ‘Albert is credited, along with his late brother Michel Roux, with starting London’s culinary revolution with the opening of Le Gavroche in 1967.’ Michel Roux died in March last year.

Albert Roux’s son Michel Roux Jr, who now runs Le Gavroche, added: ‘He was a mentor for so many people in the hospitality industry, and a real inspiration to budding chefs, including me.’

Television chef James Martin described Roux as ‘a true titan of the food scene in this country’. He added: ‘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.’

Food writer Jay Rayner posted on Twitter: ‘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.’

As well as Ramsay, Pierre Koffman, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti all worked at Le Gavroche. The two brothers established an annual culinary competition, the Roux Scholarship, in 1984, with Andrew Fairlie and Sat Bains among its winners.

Albert and Michel Roux were born into a family of butchers in Burgundy, and trained as pastry chefs before moving to the UK. As well as Le Gavroche, they opened a string of other restaurants, published a number of food books and featured in a BBC television series, The Roux Brothers, in the 1980s.

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