Albert Roux, Chef Who Brought French Cuisine to London With Le Gavroche, Dies at 85

Mr. Roux and his son had recently opened two restaurants in Scotland, where Mr. Roux liked to go fishing.

In 1986 Mr. Roux set his sights westward, to Santa Barbara, Calif. There he invested in his first American gastronomic venture, Michael’s Waterside Inn, which was established by an American protégé, Michael Hutchings.

The year-round mild climate, abundant fresh produce and seafood appealed to Mr. Roux. And he had much to say about the American culinary possibilities in California, where the vegetables may “look more beautiful” than French or English vegetables, but “they do not taste as strong.”

He told The New York Times in 1986 that America’s beef was “unbeatable” and its veal “fantastic,” but that its lamb, though tender, left “a little bit to be desired.” Still, Mr. Roux said Americans were becoming “alert to what they have around them rather than go and import it.”

In addition to his son, Mr. Roux’s survivors include his wife, Maria Rodrigues; a daughter, Danielle, from his first marriage, which ended in divorce in 2001; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson. Mr. Roux’s second marriage, to Cheryl Smith, ended in divorce in 2016.

In 1984, Albert and Michel Roux created the Roux Brothers Scholarship, a prestigious annual competition intended to develop Britain’s future star chefs with apprenticeships and coaching.

Asked in a 2016 interview, “What drives you on?,” Mr. Roux answered: “Wanting to train and help people. I get such happiness from training chefs, ‘making a racehorse out of a donkey’ as I say. I never give up on people.”

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