Michel Roux death: Legendary chef dies aged 78

His family issued a statement on Thursday

Legendary chef Michael Roux dies aged 78

French chef and restaurateur Michel Roux OBE has died aged 78.

He passed away on Wednesday night surrounded by his family at home in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire.

In a statement seen by The Independent it was confirmed that the cause of death was long-term idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

“He had fought a long and brave battle,” it reads.

Michel’s son Alain and daughters, Francine and Christine, on behalf of the Roux family said: “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. While many of you will share our great sense of loss, we request privacy for the family at this difficult time.”

The Roux scholarship, a cooking competition set up in 1984 by Michel Roux and his brother Albert – and now run by their sons Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr – also released a statement on Instagram on Thursday.

We are deeply saddened to have lost our founding father, Michel Roux OBE. 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.”

Roux, often known as Michel Roux Sr, was best known for opening Le Gavroche restaurant in Sloane Square in 1967 and was given the nickname “the godfather of modern cuisine”.

In 2017 he told The Independent that when he moved to the UK from France the food was “in the dark ages”.

He said: “We came to point the way forward knowing that we would face either a quick death or quick success.

“Luckily, it was the right time. Now, in restaurant terms, we have landed on the moon and Mars, all in 45 years.”

Among those to cook under Roux during his career were Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Pierre Koffman.

Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to win a Michelin star in 1974. Roux would go on to win three stars for the restaurant in his lifetime, and a further three for The Waterside Inn.

Roux appeared regularly on BBC cooking shows Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef and on the TV series The Roux Legacy about the impact of the Roux family on the world of cooking.

The Michelin Guide paid tribute to Roux on Twitter, calling him a “true titan” of the hospitality industry.

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