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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

5 Questions - Michel Roux Jr., Chef Patron of Le Gavroche

The BBC Good Food Show arrives in Glasgow this weekend and I can't wait. The show is a food and drink lovers heaven as producers from all over the country set up their stalls for what will likely be three busy days of sampling and selling. In addition to the hundreds of exhibitors who will be on show, there will be book signings, pop-up restaurants, cocktail masterclasses, live interviews with celebrity chefs and cookery demonstrations from Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, James Martin and Tom Kitchin at the Supertheatre.
The main reason that I'm so excited about the show is because one of the greatest chefs in the country, Michel Roux Jr, will also be in attendance this weekend ..... and he answered 5 Questions for Gerry's Kitchen.
Coming from true legendary cooking stock, Michel has been working within the hospitality industry from the age of 16, initially at The Waterside Inn under his uncle Michel Roux Snr, before working for his father Albert Roux at Le Gavroche. From there, Michel further developed his skills under Alain Chapel and Pierre Koffman before returning to Le Gavroche in 1990 and subsequently taking control of the restaurant when his father retired in 1993.
Here's Michel's story;
How did you get started?
I was almost born in a kitchen so this has obviously influenced my life. My profound career started at 16 as an apprentice pastry chef. I was taught by my father that all chefs must start with pastry. Once you can master that you can master any dish.
What's the best piece of advice that you would give to aspiring chefs?
Cook for your customers not your ego.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
Busy and still achieving the high standards that I set for myself.
If you could only cook one of your own recipes, what would it be and why?
A true le Gavroche classic, the Soufflé Suissesse. It’s been on the menu since 1967 and still is the best seller!
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal - Who would it be and why? ...and what's on the menu?
The culinary legend that is Auguste Escoffier. He has been the biggest inspiration for me and my father and uncle.
I would cook the wonderful “Boeuf Mironton”, a dish that is traditionally made from leftover beef. It is a recipe from Escoffier’s book. I like to think that it would be something we could enjoy and laugh about together, he was a very thrifty man!
Despite the fact that Michel takes an active hand in the running of Le Gavroche, which has held two Michelin stars since 1993, Michel is no stranger to our TV screens where he is perhaps best known for presenting BBC Two's Food and Drink show or as the former expert judge on Masterchef: The Professionals.
However his most recent foray into the word of TV cooking might well be his toughest challenge to date as Michel puts eight out-of-work people with disabilities through an intensive four week introduction to catering on Channel 4's new show, "Kitchen Impossible with Michel Roux Jr." Having watched the first episode last week, it's safe to say that all of the experience that Michel has built over the years will be put to the test as he does his best to mentor the group of young adults, each with varying levels of disability, towards getting a job within the hospitality industry.
You can catch up with Michel Roux Jr. and Kitchen Impossible on Channel 4 on Thursday nights at 9pm. Of course, if you happen to be in Glasgow this weekend, he will be on the demo and interview stages at The BBC Good Food Show on Saturday afternoon.
I would like to thank Michel Roux Jr. for taking the time to answer my 5 Questions and wish him every success in his continuing career. Who knows, if I'm lucky on Saturday, I might get the chance to thank him in person.
Keep up to date with Michel Roux Jr. on Twitter.

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