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Albert Roux’s legacy goes far beyond his food

Albert Roux, who has died aged 85, did more to encourage and foster Britain’s restaurant sector than any other chef working in the UK. The roll-call of names that passed through the kitchens of his Mayfair restaurant, Le Gavroche, which he opened with his late brother Michel in 1967, is the classic who’s who of the culinary cheffing firmament. It includes Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Koffmann, Phil Howard, Marcus Wareing and Rowley Leigh, each of whom in turn passed on what they had learned from Albert to so many others.

He was firmly in the business of unapologetic luxury. “We knew nothing of the British indifference to food,” he once told me, of his early years in Britain, “because we had only ever cooked for the rich.” Both brothers had arrived in the country from Paris, as private chefs for the aristocracy, Michel for the Rothschilds, Albert for the Cazalets. It was their employers’ money and contacts that enabled them to launch Le Gavroche.

The opening party guest list included Ava Gardner, Robert Redford and Charlie Chaplin, the latter being chauffeured back every night of the following week from his suite at the Savoy. He came for classics such as the gruyère-clad soufflé Suissesse and a lobster mousse with caviar and champagne butter sauce. Read from source….