Chef and restaurateur Albert Roux dies aged 85

Chef and restaurateur Albert Roux has died at the age of 85.

The French-born founder of the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche and part of the Roux culinary dynasty died on January 4 after a lengthy illness.

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 Roux death
Albert (left) and Michel Roux (Johnny Green/PA)

"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."

Alongside his younger brother Michel, Roux founded Le Gavroche in London in 1967, followed by The Waterside Inn in Bray in 1972.

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Albert Roux at Chez Roux at Cheltenham
Albert Roux greets racegoers at Chez Roux at Cheltenham
HENLEY, ENGLAND - JULY 08: (L-R) Chefs Atul Kochhar, Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr pose on Day 1 of The Henley Festival on July 8, 2015 in Henley-on-Thames, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Albert Roux attends the SeriousFun London Gala 2013, benefiting a growing community of camps and programs serving children with serious illnesses and their families and established by Paul Newman in 1988, at The Roundhouse on December 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Left to right. Chef judges Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Farlie (front) Brian Turner (back) David Nicholls, Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jnr, Michel Roux, Gary Rhodes, Richard Vines and Alain Roux stand around the winning dish during the final of the Roux Scholarship at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London. (Photo by Tim Ireland - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Celebrity chefs (L-R) Heston Blumenthal, Brian Turner, Andrew Fairlie, David Nicholls, Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Michel Roux, Garry Rhodes, Richard Vines and Alain Roux pose for a photograph during the judging process in the final round of a competition to win a 'Roux Scholarship' at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on April 6, 2009 in London, England. The prize for being awarded a Roux Scholar is, among other things, £5,000 plus three month's training at a 3-star Michelin establishment. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Alain Roux, Michel Roux Jnr, Michel Roux and Albert Roux during the final of the Roux Scholarship at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London. (Photo by Tim Ireland - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anglo-French chefs Michel Roux Jr, (L) Michel Roux OBE (C) and Albert Roux OBE (R) speak during the finals of the 'Roux Scholarship' competition at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in central London, on April 6, 2009. The scholarship is in its 26th year, and is a UK competition for young chefs. The winner is expected to be announced later Monday. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images)
OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 30: Chef Albert Roux attends Day 2 of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on March 30, 2009 in Oxford, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
French-born restauranteurs Albert (left) and Michel Roux are awarded honourary OBE's by the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony at the Foriegn and Commonwealth offices in central London. * The brothers were awarded the honours for their services to the restaurant trade. (Photo by Johnny Green - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Patrick Thompson, who works at The Falcon inn in Bletsoe in Bedfordshire, celebrates with celebrity chefs Albert Roux (left) and Gary Rhodes (right) after being awarded the 15th Roux Diners Club Scholarship, beating five other competitors in tonight's (Tuesday) final, held in London. See PA story LEISURE Chef. /PA (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Acclaimed restaurateur Albert Roux, feast his eyes on the Cobbler sandwich, a mayonnaise-lined ciabatta filled with nine separate ingredients, a combination of saute potato, leek bacon, courgette, cheddar, mozzarella, pepper, tomato and a parsley garnish * ... which won the title at the Sandwich of the Year awards, in London today (Friday). 31/10/02 Acclaimed restauranteur Albert Roux, who, with his brother Michel Roux is due to receive an honorary OBE for services to the restaurant trade. The French-born brothers are being honoured for having helped revolutionise the quality of cuisine in Britain over the past 30 years. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Top chefs Albert (L) and Michelle Roux (R) with the winner of the title 'Roux Diners Scholar 1991', Eugene Callaghan, 24, of Belfast, at the Inn on the Park in London. Eugene wins the opportunity to train under the guidance of a top chef anywhere in Europe. (Photo by Adam Butler - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Le Gavroche, known for its classic take on French cuisine, was the first restaurant in the UK to gain one, then two, and then three Michelin stars.

Albert's death comes nine months after that of his brother, aged 78, following a long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Born in the region of Saone et Loire in France on October 8 1935, Roux began training as an apprentice patissier aged 14 before taking up a number of kitchen posts.

Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards - London
Michel Roux Jr (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

After serving in the military in Algeria, Roux worked as sous chef at the British Embassy in Paris, where he spent two years before leaving for the UK.

In April 1967, Albert and Michel opened Le Gavroche in Chelsea with only £3,000, borrowing the rest of the funds.

He was also known for the Roux Scholarship, an annual chef competition founded in 1982 with Michel, to enable a new generation of chefs in the UK to train in some of the greatest restaurants in the world.

In 1988, Albert's son Michel Roux Jr joined Le Gavroche and over a period of years took over the day-to-day management of the restaurant. He is now the chef/patron.

Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffmann and Marcus Wareing all passed through the La Gavroche kitchen during this period.

Outside of the kitchen, Roux was a keen fisherman and enjoyed trips to the Scottish Highlands.

The Rouxs continue to run a small group of Chez Roux restaurants in a number of hotels in the region.

He was married three times with his final wedding, to Maria, taking place in 2018.

TV chef and MasterChef: The Professionals star Michel Jr paid tribute.

He said: "He was a mentor for so many people in the hospitality industry, and a real inspiration to budding chefs, including me."

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."

Chef James Martin said: "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."

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."

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