French chef and restaurateur Michel Roux dies aged 79

Legendary French chef and restaurateur Michel Roux has died at the age of 79.

He was best known for opening Le Gavroche in Sloane Square London in 1967, in with his brother Albert.

Integral to the UK cooking scene, a host of famous chefs worked under Roux, including Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Pierre Koffman.

His family confirmed in a statement on Instagram the icon had passed, with reports saying Roux was surrounded by his loved ones as he succumbed to a long-standing lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Michel’s son Alain and daughters, Francine and Christine, said on behalf of the family today: ‘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.

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

Le Gavroche (which became the first restaurant in the UK to win a Michelin star, in 1974) has since moved to Mayfair, and is looked after by Roux’s nephew, Michel Roux Jr.

Tributes have begun pouring in for the icon, with Piers Morgan among the first celebrities to make a public tribute on social media.

He posted on Twitter: ‘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!’

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