Fine Living | Diary of a Somebody

Michel Roux Jr – Day 2

Diver-caught Orkney scallops and Lake District Galloway beef inspire the Le Gavroche chef

Michel Roux Jr – Day 2

January 09 2013
Michel Roux Jr

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Following my usual routine of a silky double espresso and toasted homemade bread to kick-start the day and the senses, I head straight to Le Gavroche. Shortly after arriving there is a wonderful surprise: a delivery of beautiful diver-caught Orkney scallops and luscious live langoustines. Scotland has recovered from Hogmanay and is back in business.

The kitchen is also inspired by the next arrival – Lake District Galloway four-rib of beef. It is our first delivery of this fantastic cut and I am looking forward to experimenting with it. Keeping the dish classical, we decide to serve the beef with beignets of bone marrow and a red wine jus, which we will trial on the menu tomorrow. It will be a served as a sharing dish, which I always think is a pleasurable way to present meat like this.

At 9am head to the elegant Langham Hotel for my first meeting of the week, a catch up with Jeremy Ford, group executive chef for Restaurant Associates. I work as a consultant on several projects for Restaurant Associates, and over a coffee we discuss various group menus and a couple of charity dinners. After saying goodbye to Jeremy, I take a tour of the Roux at the Landau kitchens, which are buzzing with energy. Head chef Chris King also shares the good news that he is now a father to a gorgeous little boy, who arrived just before Christmas. A particularly exciting time. After catching up, Chris and I discuss the new menus, which look great.

By 11am I am back at Le Gavroche preparing for a busy lunch service. Our lunch menu, at £50 all in, always seems to be a winner. The winter warmers are still a firm favourite, with roasted Jerusalem artichoke soup and a lovely treacle and apple tart flying out.

At 3.30pm I hit the gym for a workout – 30 minutes of rowing and 30 minutes of core training. It is very important when you’re a runner that you make time to build core strength. It is advice often ignored by novices, and this is when they tend to hurt themselves. After the gym I head home for a much-needed cup of tea with my wife, and we catch up on life’s events before I head back to the restaurant for 6pm.

Back at Le Gavroche, I take some time before service to look over the new knife designs that have been sent to me by Global Knives, which will be part of the Roux Scholarship prizes this year. It is good to see so many amateur cooks starting to realise what a difference a good knife can make to their abilities in the kitchen.

Once again, we enjoy a busy dinner service with 85 diners. I don’t think our guests are giving in to the January blues ­– there is a lot of post-festive cheer ringing throughout the restaurant. Despite this, it is a reasonably early finish for me and the last order comes in at 10.30pm.

After tying a few things up, I head home for a steaming cup of lemongrass and ginger tea. I head to bed at about 11.30pm and fall asleep looking forward to preparing that Galloway rib of beef.