In sad news for the industry worldwide, renowned chef Michel Roux Snr. has died at the age of 78.
His family confirmed in a statement that he died on Wednesday night at his home in Berkshire, southeast England after being diagnosed with the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
“It is with deep sadness that the Roux family announces the passing of our beloved grandfather, father, brother and uncle, Michel Roux OBE. The family would like to thank everyone for their support during his illness,” his children Alain, Francine and Christine said in the statement.
“We are grateful to have shared our lives with this extraordinary man and we’re so proud of all he’s achieved.
“A humble genius, legendary chef, popular author and charismatic teacher, Michel leaves the world reeling in his wake. For many, he was a father figure inspiring all with his insatiable appetite for life and irresistible enthusiasm.
“But above all, we will miss his mischievous sense of fun, his huge, bottomless heart and generosity and kindness that knew no bounds. Michel’s star will shine forever lighting the way for a generation of chefs to follow.”
The French-born chef and restaurateur followed his brother Albert into becoming a pastry chef and together opened Britain’s first three Michelin starred restaurant, Le Gavroche, and The Waterside Inn which was the first restaurant outside France to hold three stars for a period of 25 years.
In 1984, the brothers went on to set up the Roux Scholarship, a cooking competition to help chefs in the UK, where the winner gets a three-month placement working with top chefs. It’s now run by their sons, Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr.
Michel Roux senior went on to carve out a life-long career in food, from writing books to teaching and as a TV presenter.
Described by The Observer Food Monthly as “perhaps the finest pastry chef this country has ever had” when he was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Roux will be sadly missed by the industry as a whole.