Celebrating 50 years of Le Gavroche with: Chris Tanner

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th September 2017

This year, the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche which transformed the UK culinary scene is celebrating its 50th anniversary - The Staff Canteen decided to speak to past members of the  brigade including restaurateur Chris Tanner.

Chris, who owns several successful establishments, trained in Le Gavroche’s iconic kitchen under the tutelage of his heroes Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr.

Top chefs who have worked at Le Gavroche:

Pierre Koffmann
Former proprietor, La Tante Claire, London, and Pierre Koffman at the Berkeley
1970-1972 Started as a commis chef and after two months was promoted to sous chef

Gordon Ramsay
Chef-proprietor, Gordon Ramsay Holdings
1988-1990

Marcus Wareing
Chef-patron, Marcus, London
1989-9

Starting out as a “humble” commis chef at Le Gavroche, Chris stayed with the Rouxs for five years in various establishments.quote chris tanner
“I did about a year at Le Gavroche and 47 Park Street. Albert then sent me to The Point in New York, which was under his consultancy, and I worked with Marcus Wareing there. I came back to London to Le Puolbot, then I went out to Hotel Diva in France where I did the season. Back to London, I was Le Poulbot’s sous chef.”

Chris, who is one half of the Tanner Brothers, has certainly gained a lot from the Rouxs in their various establishments.

“It was a great experience especially at that age," he said. “You were taught properly. Every ingredient was top quality, and everything had to be perfect, really. It wasn’t just at Le Gavroche, but all the smaller consultancies Albert had at the time. It was hard work, but it put you on the right path.”

That path led Chris to open Kitley Hotel in Devon, earning three rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide. The next step for Chris was to, of course, team up with his brother, James, opening Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth in 1999.

Kentish Hare
Kentish Hare

Since then, they opened Barbican Kitchen in the world famous Plymouth Gin Distillery, and The Kentish Hare, which holds two rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide, and has a Michelin listing.

As a successful chef and restaurateur, we asked Chris why he thinks Le Gavroche is still going strong 50 years on.
“They were just instrumental in the food revolution for the UK all those years ago. I think they set out a goal and they just carried on. The consistency and the dedication to the craft is obvious in the Roux Scholarship," Chris explained. “I think I’ve only missed one in 16 years!”

As a judge in the Roux Scholarship, Chris always stayed in contact with the Rouxs.
“You never really leave that family fold.”

By Thao Ly Nguyen 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th September 2017

Celebrating 50 years of Le Gavroche with: Chris Tanner