The restaurant will close in January 2024 when its current lease expires.
Originally opened in 1967 by Roux’s father Albert and uncle Michel on Lower Sloane Street in Chelsea, Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to gain one, two and three Michelin stars (it lost its third in 1993) and is renowned for its classic French haute cuisine.
The restaurant moved to its current location on Upper Brook Street in Mayfair in 1981.
Led by Michel Roux Jr since 1991, the chef says that he is looking for a better work/life balance without the daily demands of a busy Michelin-starred restaurant and that the upcoming end of his current lease gave him the opportunity to assess and consider his future.
The kitchen at Le Gavroche has long been headed up by Rachel Humphrey who joined the restaurant as an apprentice in 1996, and became first commis in 1998. She was later promoted to chef de partie in 2003 and then sous chef in 2004 before being name head chef in 2008, the first female chef at the restaurant in its history.
She was appointed Executive Chef in 2015.
“The pressure to be able to deliver the high quality that everyone expects is wearing when it’s every day, and every plate,” says Roux.
“The closure of Le Gavroche at this site is about turning the page and moving forward so I can focus on my family as well our other businesses."
Concentrating on other businesses
As well as Le Gavroche, Roux operates catering business Chez Roux which operates at sporting events as well as offers at home catering, cookery classes and culinary consultancy from a team led by Roux and his daughter Emily.
He will continue to head up the F&B operations at The Langham in London and work with the ICMI Hotel Group operating the Roux restaurants in Scotland. He will also continue consulting for Compass Group and catering at major sporting events including the Wimbledon Championships.
The chef has also recently announced a collaboration with Cunard at Sea, and says he will continue to create his cookbooks and TV series. He will also cook for special events at Notting Hill restaurant Caractère, which is run by Emily and her husband Diego Ferrari.
Retaining the Le Gavroche name
The Le Gavroche brand and the limited company will be retained by the family and will be used for special events and pop ups, private and public, in different locations, potentially around the world.
“I am pleased to have made this decision and excited to take Le Gavroche on the road, to be a master of Le Gavroche rather than it being my master,” adds Roux.
The restaurant staff will be going through redundancy consultations over the next few weeks.
To mark the end of Le Gavroche the restaurant will host a series of public dinners celebrating the menus over the decades since the restaurant opened, which will start this November and go through until the restaurant’s closure in January next year. Family members and familiar faces who have worked at Le Gavroche in the past will be making appearances at these events.
Further details of all events will be available soon through Le Gavroche’s website.
Le Gavroche has most recently been in the news after Roux announced he was seeking to retrieve a beloved frog-shaped table decoration that disappeared following a recent charity dinner held at his restaurant. It looks like that ornament will carry even more significance now.
Le Gavroche - a French legacy
1967 – Albert Roux and Michel Roux open Le Gavroche on Lower Sloane Street in Chelsea
1974 – Le Gavroche is featured in the inaugural UK Michelin Guide in 1974
1977 – A second Michelin star is awarded
1981 – The restaurant moves to Upper Brook Street, Mayfair
1982 – Le Gavroche is the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded 3 Michelin stars
1986 – Albert takes sole control of Le Gavroche and Michel leaves for The Waterside Inn
1991 – Michel Roux Jr takes over as Chef Patron from his father, Albert
1993 – Two Michelin stars awarded
2016 – Michel Roux Jr celebrates 25 years at the helm of Le Gavroche
2017 – Le Gavroche reaches its 50th anniversary milestone
2021 – Michel Roux celebrates 30 years at the helm of Le Gavroche