Acclaimed French chef Albert Roux has died aged 85, his family have announced.

The founder of Britain’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gavroche passed away on Monday.

A statement issued by the chef’s family said: “The Roux family has announced the sad passing of Albert Roux, OBE, KFO, who had been unwell for a while, at the age of 85 on the 4 January 2021.”

“Albert is credited, along with his late brother Michel Roux, with starting London’s culinary revolution with the opening of Le Gavroche in 1967. The Roux family have requested that their privacy at this time be respected.”

His son chef Michel Roux Jr., who now runs Le Gavroche said: “Albert’s life was to make people happy through his food. He was a mentor for so many people in the hospitality industry and a real inspiration to budding chefs, including me.”

Born on 8 October 1935 at Semur-en-Brionnais, the region of Saône-et-Loire in France, Albert Roux began as an kitchen apprentice before taking up the role of commis de cuisine at Cliveden House in Berkshire at the age of 18.

He went on to perform a number of postings including a year spent at the French Embassy in London as well as the role of sous chef at the British Embassy in Paris before going on to establish Le Gavroche in Chelsea in 1967 alongside his brother Michel Roux Sr., who passed away in March 2020.

Driven by an aim to achieve a worldwide reputation for the quality of their cuisine and service, at the time it was the only French restaurant of its calibre in the capital, offering the very best of classical French cuisine with the highest standards of cooking and service. It was also the first restaurant in Britain to win three Michelin stars.

Notable chefs who have passed through its doors include Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti. Since 1991 it has been helmed by Albert’s son Michele Roux Jr.

As well as bringing Parisian-styled cuisine to the UK, Albert Roux inspired countless chefs during his career and is also known for his part in the Roux Scholarship, founded to elevate the next generation of culinary talent in the UK. Roux was a judge and co-chairman until 2016.

Figures across the industry have shared tributes on social media, including chef James Martin who tweeted: “Such a sad start to the year…Albert Roux was the true titan of the food scene in this country and inspired and trained some of the best and biggest names in the business.”

Tom Kitchin wrote: “One of the true culinary greats has left us…Merci chef…My thoughts are with the Roux family and the army of chefs you’ve influenced over the years…You will be missed but never forgotten…RIP #AlbertRoux.”

Albert Roux was awarded an OBE in 2002 and the Légion d’Honneur in 2005.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Marc O’sullivan/Shutterstock