Le Gavroche celebrates 50th birthday

30th March, 2017 by Lucy Shaw

Two Michelin-starred London stalwart Le Gavroche in Mayfair is marking its 50th birthday this year with a limited edition ‘Back to the Classics’ menu.

Le Gavroche founder Albert Roux (centre) with his team

The five-course menu, served in the Chef’s Library private dining room, will include classic Le Gavroche dishes from 1967 and beyond.

Among them are lobster mousse with caviar and a Champagne butter sauce; roast duck, liver sauce, Port-glazed carrots and turnips; and caramel coated soft meringues, vanilla bean custard cream and madeleines.

“I’m incredibly proud of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary, and the journey it’s taken to get here. My father and uncle opened the restaurant and made it one of London’s legends – to be able to continue that legacy and bring it to this historic landmark is one of the great achievements of my career,” said chef patron Michel Roux Jr.

Available until December, the menu can be booked in advance for 4-6 people and is priced at £90 per person, inclusive of water, tea, coffee, chocolates, service charge, and a copy of the Le Gavroche cookbook. For an extra £90, wines will be paired to each dish, including a 1967 vintage.

When Roux Jr. took over from his father Albert in 1991, he relaxed the dress code, which thus far had required men to wear ties. He recently went a step further, meaning men no longer need to wear a jacket while they dine.

The Le Gavroche team will be honouring the anniversary with a host of celebratory events throughout the year. The restaurant was opened in 1967 by brothers Michel and Albert Roux and has built a reputation for its classical French cuisine

It’s signature Soufflé Suissesse – a cheese soufflé baked with double cream, was described by the late AA Gill as “one of the best things you can eat”. In 1982 it became the first UK restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars, however it lost its third star in 1993.

Named after a character in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the restaurant has survived recessions, depressions and IRA bombings. Illustrious alumni include Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, Pierre Koffman, Phil Howard and Rowley Leigh.

“The Roux dynasty is something to be proud of but we certainly wouldn’t be in this position without the team’s hard work. My team are like family to me, from the kitchen and front-of-house to the reservations team – this is their achievement too and I will be eternally grateful,” said Roux Jr.

“As for what’s next, who knows? Fifty years is an astounding achievement. Time to sit back, and reflect on our incredible history,” he added.

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