Well-thumbed cookery books – May 2023

Once a month I’m going to write a short piece about a favourite cookery book from my extensive collection, particularly those that laid the foundations of my skill as a cook. Today I’m featuring one from the fabulous Roux Brothers: At Home with the Roux Brothers.

Roux Brothers refers to two brothers who were French-born restaurateurs and chefs working in Britain who I think it’s fair to say changed the UK’s culinary landscape.

Albert Henri Roux OBE (1935 – 2021) with his brother Michel operated Le Gavroche in London’s Mayfair, the first restaurant in the UK to gain three Michelin stars. He helped train a series of chefs that went on to win Michelin stars, and his son, Michel Roux, Jr., continues to run Le Gavroche.

Michel Roux, OBE (1941 – 2020), generally known as Michel Roux Snr., subsequently opened and ran The Waterside Inn in Bray, which was the first restaurant outside France to hold three stars for 25 years. His son, Alain Roux, currently runs the Waterside Inn in Bray, having taken over as chef patron in 2002.

I consider myself very fortunate to have eaten at both their classic French restaurants while they were still in charge of the kitchens.

In 1984, Albert and Michel set up the Roux Scholarship to enable up and coming chefs to get a start in the industry. During his time in the kitchen, he trained several chefs who went on to gain Michelin stars of their own, including Andrew Fairlie, Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffmann and Sat Bains.

The brothers were culinary legends and have been the greatest influence on British gastronomy since Chef Escoffier ruled over the kitchen of the Savoy in the early 1900s.

The pages of this cookery book bear witness to the tried and tried again recipes as the pages are splattered with grease marks. To this day I still follow their recipe for tarte Tatin, brioche and various ice creams.



20 Comments on “Well-thumbed cookery books – May 2023

  1. Sheree I was just reading an interesting article about the value of old cookbooks. I passed on my moms to a retirement home. I believe they were happy to have them. Most of my mom’s recipes and mine-we cook from instinct.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My claim to fame: I once met Albert Roux. One hell of a handshake – I’m not sure i ever recovered from it! I used to live a mile or so (ish) away from The Waterside Inn (my 91yo mother still does) and in my youth my local (just around the corner) formerly known as ‘The Ringers’ now the Fat Duck – yet another Michelin joint just round the corner owned by the bloke who looks like Brains from Thunderbirds. Back in the day a few of the kitchen staff used to come to the pub and we used to play darts with them. There ya go. Small world innit?

    Liked by 2 people

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