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Michel Roux Jr to open new restaurant

Just a few months after he shut the doors of legendary Mayfair institution Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr will open a new restaurant at The Langham hotel this summer, with the menu taking inspiration from his childhood in Kent.

When Roux announced last August that he would be closing Le Gavroche, founded by his father, Albert, and uncle, Michel, in 1967, it was assumed by many pundits that the chef would be bowing out from the restaurant game, with Le Gavroche to live on as a pop-up brand.

However, Roux, who himself spent around three decades at the pass of Le Gavroche, has delivered something of a surprise with the announcement of Chez Roux, due to open at The Langham in Marylebone on 22 May.

Diners at Chez Roux can expect something of a more personal touch when it comes to the menu, with the dishes drawing inspiration from Roux’s upbringing: “I have such fond memories of growing up at Fairlawne [Kent], where my father spent seven years cooking for the Cazalet family. From relaxed lunches to extravagant dinner parties, it’s safe to say everyone ate very well. Dad had to learn the great British classics but used all his French technique and skills to cook for the family and esteemed guests.”

“When my parents had to cook dinner parties,” he continued, “the wife of the head butler, Mrs Bradbrook, would babysit, introducing me to the wonders of great British desserts such as crumble and custard, and steamed puddings.”

These dishes would prove to be format in Roux’s development as a chef, and Chez Roux will pay homage to them.

“The menu at Chez Roux is inspired by these early memories of life growing up in rural Kent, dad’s cooking for the Cazalets, and the first menus from Le Gavroche, which opened when I was just seven,” he shared. “Many of the recipes that were popular during the Sixties have been consigned to history, yet there is so much to love about the dishes I remember from this time – British classics combined with traditional French techniques. So, with a touch of nostalgia and much excitement, I can’t wait for guests to try the menus.”

Among the dishes teased are the likes of Welsh rarebit, grilled lobster with fries and béarnaise, and lamb chops reform (herb-crusted lamb). The wine selection is “premium”, with a range of Champagnes in particular – cocktails are also supposed to reflect the 1960s, when the Roux family were in Kent, with one such example being the Madeira Cobbler.

When Roux finally shut Le Gavroche in January, it did raise the question of whether it really was time for it to go.

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