Watch Marco Pierre White cook for Albert Roux

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th February 2015
Continuing our look at the chefs that Marco Pierre White has worked for in a celebration of the 25th anniversary of cookbook ‘White Heat’ coming out, we’re next looking at Albert Roux. Albert Roux is one half of the famous Roux brothers, and has been interested in cooking since he was 14 when he became an apprentice patissier. Albert moved to the UK when he was 18 to work as a commis de cuisine in Nancy Astor’s country home in Cliveden. He then spent time working at the French embassy in London before working as a chef for Sir Charles Clore in Mayfair. He was then called on for military service in Algeria. Upon returning from military service Albert took up a post at the British embassy in Paris for two years before moving back to the UK to work as a chef for Major Peter Cazalet in Kent, where he stayed for eight years. It was the Cazalet family and their friends who helped finance Albert’s first restaurant, Le Gavroche, in 1967. His brother soon joined him and they received three Michelin stars in 1982, the first British restaurant ever to do so. Albert’s son Michel Roux Jr joined him at Le Gavroche in 1988 and has since taken over from his father, becoming the executive chef. Seeing the success of Le Gavroche, in 1969 Albert opened Le Poulbot on the site of an old pub, which gained one Michelin star. He also opened Brasserie Benoit in 1971, which has since been renamed Le Gamin. In 1972 the brothers opened the Waterside Inn, which is their second three Michelin starred restaurant. They decided in 1986 to each run a separate restaurant, with Albert taking La Gavroche and Michel taking the Waterside Inn. While Albert was at Le Gavroche, this is when Marco worked for him. Marco said of Albert: “He is a very honest man and he is very into simplicity. "Le Gavroche taught me to be extravagant and it's the most honest restaurant in the country. And the only thing Albert ever pulled me on was my hair." The famous Roux Scholarship was started in 1985, and is now run by the Albert and Michel’s sons. The brothers also have various cookbooks including ‘New Classic Cuisine’ and ‘The Roux Brothers French Country Cooking.’ Albert's nickname for Marco was 'my little bunny' and he said of Marco: "He is a young man running at a 1000 miles an hour. My only concern for him is that I hope he can pace himself. "At the time he was working very hard, harder than anyone else in the kitchen - which is really the secret of success. And I seem to remember he was never short of words. "We need a new generation of chef and may he be the leader of the new generation." Since retiring, Albert has turned to lecturing, and is a professor at Bournemouth University, as well as lecturing around the UK and France. Tomorrow we take a look at Raymond Blanc.  Click here for a chance to win a copy of White Heat 25 courtesy of Octopus Books

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th February 2015

Watch Marco Pierre White cook for Albert Roux