World Chefs: Michel Roux Jr. gets back to his roots

Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:37am EDT
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By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters) - Michel Roux Jr. has traversed the English Channel with his cooking in a career that has included sautéing for French presidents Giscard D'Estaing and Francois Mitterrand, and frying the contestants of British TV cooking competition "Masterchef" with his eye-goggling expressions.

Roux's culinary and on-screen credentials have earned him celebrity status, beyond that granted by family connections.

But now a new television venture, "The Roux Legacy," will see the chef returning to his roots, as two generations of the Roux family cook together in the kitchens of their Michelin starred restaurants, including Michel Jr.'s Le Gavroche in the exclusive London district of Mayfair.

Q: You were born in Britain but have French parents -- how has your mixed upbringing influenced your cooking?

A: It probably influenced me a lot subliminally but most importantly I went to English schools and had an English education. As a result of that I developed a taste for English cuisine, lamb with mint sauce, for instance, and particularly English puddings.

Q: Did you always know you were going to become a chef and enter the family business?

A: I always knew from a very young age that I was going to go into catering and hospitality, most definitely, but not necessarily into the family business.

Q: You followed in your father's footsteps and took over Le Gavroche - what would you say your stamp on the restaurant has been?   Continued...