French-English chef Michel Roux Jr. is an icon thanks to his work at two-Michelin-star London restaurant Le Gavroche, and he's become a famous face because of television appearances on MasterChef: The Professionals. Roux took over the kitchen from his celebrated father, founder of Le Gavroche, and his daughter Emily is becoming a renowned cook in her own right. London's Independent newspaper recently chatted with Roux on a variety of topics. Here now, the seven best lines that explain how the chef thinks.
On his decision to avoid alcohol during the week: "You have a sip, and a sip becomes two sips, which becomes a glass, which becomes a bottle. It's a slippery slope."
On how the profession has changed since Anthony Bourdain published Kitchen Confidential: "I suppose that book started the image of the rock'n'roll chef, the hell-raiser. It's not at all like that any more though, we've moved on."
On the varying cooking styles in his family: "Dad is very old school, I'm old school and my daughter is very now. My dad and I are more about the animal fats whereas she's trained in some very trendy, modern places and has a very light touch."
On avoiding the trap of gaining too much celebrity: "I'm very fussy about what television work I do, and I'm very wary that I shouldn't become a 'TV chef.' There are many chefs out there who have become just that and no longer run their businesses as chefs. That's not something that I want to do."
On Twitter imposters: "They were phoning up the restaurant to find out when the menu changes were, what was on special, where I was ... It felt as if it was, not someone who was following me, but maybe someone who knew me."
On getting to know new people: "That's a question I ask sometimes to break the ice if I have a meeting with someone I don't know. 'What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?' It throws people. If somebody replies 'vanilla ice cream,' it does say a lot about them."
On guilty pleasures: "Why would a pleasure be guilty?!"