IN a world now teeming with master chefs, the name of Michel Roux Snr still stands out.
And the man, who along with his brother Albert, began a food revolution in Britain, was a happy guest in Adare’s Dunraven Arms Hotel last week.
Michel Roux is not a man to mince his words about food. In an interview about his early days in Britain in the 1960s, where he moved at the behest of his brother to set up a restaurant together, he described in withering terms what he found there, food-wise. “It was the dark ages. Nobody was serving decent food. I’m not even talking about good food,” he said.
Happily, Michel Roux Snr whose restaurants attained three Michelin star status, had nothing but praise for the Dunraven Arms and in his tweet about his visit, he described the hotel as “faultless” and “a family hotel you dream about”.
Significantly, he added: “food so tasty the crab yamy” which we assume is his version of yummy.
For the Murphy family of Dunraven Arms and their head chef David Hayes, this was welcome and headturning stuff indeed.
Michel Roux Snr, now an OBE, came from very humble beginnings in Paris and began work as a patissier at 14 but went on to become head chef at the Paris mansion of the Rothschild family before moving to London where he and brother Albert set up their first restaurant Le Gavroche in 1967.
Charlie Chaplin and Ava Gardner attended the launch and it was afterwards claimed that Chaplin had himself driven from all parts of London to eat there in its first week.
Le Gavroche was to become the first British restaurant to win three Michelin stars, The brothers opened a second restaurant The Waterside Inn which the first restaurant outside France to hold three Michelin stars for 25 years.
The Waterside Inn was taken over by Michel when the brothers decided to split the business in 1986.
Michel Snr handed over the Waterside Inn to his son Alain in 2002 and his nephew Michel Jnr, son of Albert, also continues to make culinary waves.
Michel Snr has been awarded many honours in his lifetime including an OBE.
He remains an active food writer and has appeared on television shows such as Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef as well as the Roux family-centric series, The Roux Legacy. He founded the Roux Brothers Scholarship with his brother in 1984.