Celebrating 50 years of Le Gavroche with: David Simms

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 David Simms, the managing director of Corrigan Restaurants.

David, the managing director of Corrigan Restaurants and former MD of Simon Rogan's Umbel Restaurant Group, began his culinary career under the guidance of Albert 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

“I was chef de partie, and I was there for three years,"David said.

Moving on from Le Gavroche

Moving on from Le Gavroche, David worked for Michelin-starred celebrity chef John Burton-Race at Temple Restaurant, before joining Restaurant Associates as group executive, and eventually opening his own catering consultancy, Kendall and Simms.david simms quote
His time at Le Gavroche certainly prepared him for a great career.

“I guess you learn to respect all the ingredients as equals, whether it’s a broad bean or truffle.”
You can take the chef out of Le Gavroche, but you can’t take Le Gavroche experience out of a chef, as the Rouxs keep giving continuous support to David’s career.

“They really nurture, develop and grow people who passed through their kitchens,” David explains. “I left in ’99, and still see them regularly and they’ve been giving me great advice throughout the years. They’re very inspirational.”

The success of Le Gavroche

We ask David what he attributes to the success of Le Gavroche, and he thinks the secret to their success lies in the Roux family.

“I think it’s because they’re true to what they are. They just stuck to what they do, and they’ve been one hundred percent consistent. People appreciate that, don’t they?”

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: David Simms