The inaugural, sell-out Harden’s invites dinner was hosted by Peter Harden and Michel, Emily and Giselle Roux at Mayfair’s temple of Gallic gastronomy, Le Gavroche, on Monday 18 September. The event celebrated the launch of Emily and Giselle’s cook book New French Table and was a truly family affair as even Monsieur Albert Roux himself put in an appearance.
The dinner was the first of a new series of events hosted by Harden’s at renowned restaurants across the country. Next up is a special evening with Jason Atherton and his head chefs from City Social and Social Eating House, who will all cook together for the very first time at Mayfair’s Pollen Street Social on 12 October.
Guests at Le Gavroche enjoyed a Laurent-Perrier Champagne and canapé reception, followed by a four course meal expertly paired with wines from the restaurant’s “astonishing, predominantly French list”. The £160 menu, prepared by Michel and his daughter, was inspired by recipes from Emily and her mother Giselle’s latest cook book. The evening was a huge success, as our guests can attest:
“My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed the event as I am sure all the other diners did as well. There was a lovely relaxed and cordial atmosphere coupled with some great company who all seemed to get on with other as if they had been friends for years! As one would expect, the food and wines were superb which made the evening absolutely perfect.”
– Malcolm Fowler, Guest. Harden’s Invites Event at Le Gavroche 18 Sep 2017
SWEETCORN SOUP WITH POPCORN AND CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN
PAN SEARED STONEBASS WITH AVOCADO AND CITRUS DRESSING
VEAL LOIN, CARROT “SPAGHETTI”, ROAST PARSNIP AND CORIANDER CONDIMENT
CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE TRIFLE, BALVENIE JELLY AND GRIOTTINES CHERRIES
Et les vins:
Gros Plant du Pays Nantais “sur Lie” – 2015 Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin – Loire
Kit’s Coty – Chardonnay – 2014 Chapel Down – North Downs, Kent
Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes “le Soula” – 2009 Domaine le Soula – Languedoc-Roussillon
Banyuls “Rimage” – 2011 Les Clos de Paulilles – Languedoc-Roussillon
In between the main and dessert course, diners had the chance to engage with Michel, Emily and Giselle and ask them any burning questions about New French Table and Gallic cuisine. During dessert the chefs greeted guests at their tables and signed copies of the Roux’s latest book will be available to purchase, at an exclusive, discounted price.
Tickets for this spectacular evening of food and wine at Mayfair’s iconic French restaurant sold out within a matter of hours. Last year Harden’s 25th anniversary dinner at Le Gavroche also sold out within a day.
Simple family food forms the heart of French gastronomy. In New French Table, mother and daughter team Emily and Giselle Roux, the women behind the Roux empire; share a completely fresh take on classic and contemporary recipes – showing how cooking has evolved over the decades and creating a modern bible for today’s lifestyle.
Drawing upon their experience working in Roux restaurants and fond memories of cooking together, they prove that French food is not only easy and approachable, but light, fresh and bursting with flavour. From the provincial home cooking of the Ardèche to the sweet treats of Brittany, this unique collection of over 100 recipes shows how the French kitchen has evolved to suit a modern lifestyle – with delicious recipes for every day; family dinners; lighter soups and salads; new trends; international influences; and big feasts to feed a crowd.
Michel Roux Jr was born in 1960 in Pembury, Kent, where his father Albert Roux worked as a private chef for the Cazalet family. His earliest food memories are the smells of the Fairlawne kitchen – pastry, sugar caramelizing and stews – where he played under the table while his father and mother Monique prepared the meals.
After deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps, he left school at 16 for the first of several challenging apprenticeships at MaÃ®tre Patissier, Hellegouarche in Paris from 1976 to 1979. He was then Commis de Cuisine at Alain Chapel’s signature restaurant at Mionay near Lyon, Michel’s biggest influence. His military service was spent in the kitchens at the Elysée Palace at the time of Presidents Giscard d’Estaing and FranÃ§ois Mitterrand. He also spent time at Boucherie Lamartine and Charcuterie Mothu in Paris, and the Gavers Restaurant in London.
After a stint at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong he returned to London and worked at La Tante Claire before joining the family business. He took over running Le Gavroche in 1991, gradually changing the style of cooking to his own – classic French with a lighter, modern twist.
Michel opened Roux at Parliament Square in May 2010 with Restaurant Associates, part of the Compass Group UK and Ireland. And in November 2010, he opened Roux at The Landau at London’s prestigious luxury hotel, The Langham. Michel further strengthened his relationship with The Langham and in 2015 announced that Chez Roux Ltd would operate the hotels food and beverage outlets and conference and events banqueting.
Born in 1991, Emily Roux is the youngest to join the Roux family dynasty. Daughter of Michel and granddaughter to Albert, Emily is beginning to set her own mark in the culinary world. Emily has been training across France for the past few years before settling back in London in 2016, working with Restaurant Associates.
Her training began in 2010 where she worked in the kitchens of the Michelin starred La Table du Lancaster* in Paris. She then moved to Monaco to work in the kitchens of two of Alain Ducasse’s restaurants, La Trattoria and then to Le Louis XV*** at the Hotel de Paris.
At Le Louis XV*** Emily began her stage learning the art of patisserie, following in her grandfather’s and father’s footsteps. She was there for nine months from 2011-2012. Emily then moved back to Paris, where she stayed until August 2015. She was Demi-Chef de Partie at Le 395* for 10 months, and then became Junior Sous-Chef at Akrame**.
On her move back to London, Emily began working with Restaurant Associates alongside collaborating with her father Michel at Le Gavroche on a series on monthly events they launched together in 2016. Emily has also been busy honing her skills in the kitchens of Chez Roux, working with Michel and Albert to ensure the extraordinary standard of cooking the Roux name has become renowned for continues in the restaurants at Newmarket and Cheltenham Racecourses, as well as Chez Roux at Blue Riband, Epsom Derby and The Gatsby Club at Wimbledon.
In 1967, the restaurant opened under the auspices of the legendary Roux brothers, Albert Roux OBE and Michel Roux OBE. This year London’s grande dame of Gallic gastronomy celebrated its 50th anniversary, now helmed by Albert’s son Michel Roux Jr. Through recessions, depressions, IRA bombings, the gentrification of Greater London, the introduction of online consumer reviews and blogs, and the rise of social media, there is very little the restaurant has not withstood on the road to its golden anniversary.
Le Gavroche has become a London institution, internationally recognised for its culinary excellence and unparalleled attention to detail. The Roux legacy is not just confined to the Le Gavroche kitchen – in 1984, Michel Roux and Albert Roux created The Roux Scholarship. Now co-chaired by their sons, Michel Roux Jr and Alain Roux, the culinary competition was designed to enable a new generation of outstanding British chefs to train in the greatest restaurants around the globe.