Michel Roux Jr left Emanuel in 1976. Since then, he has become one of Britain’s top chefs.
He reminisces about the sport at Emanuel, which he particularly enjoyed – especially rugby, cross country and marathon running – taught by teachers who made it very enjoyable. He shares an anecdote about one sports teacher wearing a bright purple track suit, which he thought was really cool at the time.
Following school, he went straight into the kitchens and training to pursue his family tradition of cooking. He stresses the importance of following your feelings as an individual when it comes to life after school – if further education is not 100% for you, Michel states, don’t do it – learn a craft or do an apprenticeship instead.
The school was very sport-orientated, and it was an important part of the curriculum.
Michel discusses the importance of championing young British people to choose hospitality as a career (a contrast to the wider population of young people taking it on in mainland Europe) and the current lack of female Michelin starred chefs in the industry. At his restaurant ‘Le Gavroche’, the head chef and the two sous chefs are female – “girls have their place in the kitchen”, he says, “and we should champion that”.
We can expect to see Michel on our screens soon in two new projects; one involving young children in a cooking competition and another about helping people with learning disabilities to cook.