Chef and restaurateur Albert Roux has died at the age of 85, his family announced today.
The founder of the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche and part of the Roux culinary dynasty died on January 4 after a lengthy illness.
His son, Michel Roux Jr, said: ‘He was a mentor for so many people in the hospitality industry, and a real inspiration to budding chefs, including me.’
The tragic news comes just two years after Roux married his third wife, Maria, and months after the death of his brother, Michel Snr.
Chef James Martin paid tribute to Albert Roux saying: ‘Such a sad start to the year… Albert Roux was a true titan of the food scene in this country and inspired and trained some of the best and biggest names in the business.
‘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. My thoughts to all the Roux family and friends.’
Albert Roux (left) has died today. He is pictured with his son, Michel Roux Jnr (centre), and Michel’s daughter, Emily, at a restaurant opening in Scotland in 2016
The tragic news comes just two years after Roux married his third wife, Maria (they are pictured together in 2019 before a gala at the Savoy Hotel)
Albert (left) and Michel Roux after they were awarded honourary OBE’s by the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in October 2002
Alongside his brother Michel, Roux founded Le Gavroche in London in 1967, followed by The Waterside Inn in Bray in 1972.
Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to gain three Michelin stars.
Food critic Jay Rayner tweeted: ‘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. RIP.’
Piers Morgan wrote: ‘RIP Albert Roux, 85, just 9 months after the death of his brother Michel. Two culinary titans who revolutionised the UK restaurant scene & mentored so many more great chefs.
‘Both wonderful characters, touched by genius, who brought pleasure to many palates. Thank you.’
Mr Roux’s brother, Michel Roux Snr, died aged 79 in March after a long battle with ill health.
The brothers’ Waterside Inn was awarded one star in 1974, then two in 1977 and three in 1985.
It is the only restaurant in the world outside France to have retained three stars ever since and Roux’s son Alain has been chef patron since 2001.
A statement from his family said: ‘The Roux family has announced the sad passing of Albert Roux, OBE, KFO, who had been unwell for a while, at the age 85 on 4th January 2021.
‘Albert is credited, along with his late brother Michel Roux, with starting London’s culinary revolution with the opening of Le Gavroche in 1967. The Roux family have requested that their privacy at this time be respected.’
Roux married first wife Monique shortly after he turned 17. He had left school intending to become a priest, but quickly thought the better of it
Roux with with his second wife Cheryl Smith (right) at a private view and auction at Christie’s in London on September 20, 2004
Roux outside his Mayfair Restaurant, Le Gavroche in London, which acquired a legendary status
Food critic Jay Rayner paid tribute to Albert Roux (pictured) tweeting: ‘Albert Roux was an extraordinary man, who left a massive mark on the food story of his adopted country’
Roux, who was behind London’s legendary Le Gavroche restaurant, had been ill for some time, his family said. He is pictured with his son, Michel Jr and granddaughter, Emily