TV chef James Martin leads tributes to restaurateur Michel Roux, 79, who has died at home

Tributes have poured in for legendary chef Michel Roux who has died aged 79 after a long battle with ill health.

The French restaurateur was with his family in Bray, Berkshire, on Wednesday when he passed away following the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

He is known for opening the Le Gavroche in Sloane Street, London, with his brother Albert in 1967, which moved to Mayfair and is run by his nephew Michel Roux Jnr.

Legendary chef Michel Roux has died at home aged 79 after a long battle with ill health

Legendary chef Michel Roux has died at home aged 79 after a long battle with ill health

Legendary chef Michel Roux has died at home aged 79 after a long battle with ill health

The French restaurateur was with his family in Bray, Berkshire, when he passed away

The French restaurateur was with his family in Bray, Berkshire, when he passed away

He had the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

He had the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

The French restaurateur was with his family in Bray, Berkshire, when he passed away following the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

It was the first British restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star in 1974 and had a record three by 1982.

A statement from his son Alain and daughters Francine and Christine on behalf of the 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.

He is known for opening the Le Gavroche in Sloane Square, London, with his brother Albert in 1967

He is known for opening the Le Gavroche in Sloane Square, London, with his brother Albert in 1967

He is known for opening the Le Gavroche in Sloane Square, London, with his brother Albert in 1967

The legendary chef is pictured with his wife Robyn at their home in Bray, where he passed away

The legendary chef is pictured with his wife Robyn at their home in Bray, where he passed away

The legendary chef is pictured with his wife Robyn at their home in Bray, where he passed away

‘We are grateful to have shared our lives with this extraordinary man and we’re so proud of all he’s achieved.

From Burgundy to Britain: Michel Roux’s life

1941: Born in Charolles, Saone, France

1967: At just 26 he opens La Gavroche in Sloane Street with brother Albert

1972: The pair open Waterside Inn in Bray

1974: Le Gavroche and Waterside Inn both get first Michelin star

1977: They both get second Michelin star 

1982: Le Gavroche gets third star after moving to Mayfair

1984: The chef launches his Roux scholarship 

1985: Waterside Inn gets third star and wins restaurant of the year

1986: Michel focuses on Waterside, Albert takes over La Gavroche 

2015: Waterside Inn reaches 30 years with three Michelin stars 

‘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.’

Burgundy-born Roux and his brother Albert took over Bray’s Waterside Inn in Maidenhead and bagged three Michelin stars in 1985, which it has kept.

It is the only British restaurant to retain the accolade for more than thirty years and one of few across the world.

The Frenchman tutored the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, and was a television star through his BBC show At Home with the Roux Brothers in the 1980s.

Tributes were led by the Roux Scholarship, which the chef set up in 1984 and counts Mark Birchall and Sat Bains among its alumni.

It said on Instagram: ‘We are deeply saddened to have lost our founding father, Michel Roux OBE.’

The Michelin Guide described Roux as ‘a true titan of the hospitality industry’ on Twitter.

It wrote: ‘He inspired a whole generation of chefs and the UK restaurant scene would not be what it is today were it not for his influence.’

Chef and president of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Brian Turner telling the Caterer: ‘Gastronomy and cooking in the UK have lost their greatest modern champion.

‘An adopted son of Great Britain, Michel Roux was a much-loved chef with a mischievous sense of humour.

‘I was privileged to have been called a friend of Michel and attended most celebrations where he and the Waterside Inn were rightfully recognised for what they have done for the reputation of Britain in the area of fine dining and haute cuisine in the modern era.’

First Dates star Fred Sirieix tweeted: ‘RIP #MichelRoux. You and your brother Albert changed the face of gastronomy, eating out and the world of restaurants in the UK.

‘Every professional in this country are a proud descendant of your heritage. We owe you. Thank you #legend.’

Tributes flooded into the late chef, with Piers Morgan, Candice Brown and Simply Red among those paying respect

Tributes flooded into the late chef, with Piers Morgan, Candice Brown and Simply Red among those paying respect

Tributes flooded into the late chef, with Piers Morgan, Candice Brown and Simply Red among those paying respect

Turner told how last week he spent 15 minutes with Roux holding his hand as they talked about how to take the scholarship forward.

Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown posted on Twitter: ‘The chef world has truly lost a legend. One of very very best #michelroux thoughts are with his family.’

Piers Morgan put: ‘RIP Michel Roux, 79. One of the world’s greatest chefs & a wonderful character with a passion for food only matched by his passion for life.

‘The Queen loved his cooking, which says it all. Thanks for all the fabulous meals, Michel!’

And pop band Simply Red wrote: ‘The world has lost one of its true greats. A culinary master and a Man of great dignity, warmth and affection. He was delightful company and I feel fortunate to have shared many good times. A very sad day indeed~ RIP Michel Roux xMH.’

A funeral for Roux will be a private family affair later this year, with details yet to emerge.

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