Michel Roux Jr

BBC loses Michel Roux Jr (for now)

In light of recent revelations that Gordon Ramsay shed tears when he learned he was losing Michelin stars at one of his New York restaurants, Michel Roux Jr has quit the BBC.

In a written statement, he said, “The BBC needs to recognise the value of the talent they work with, and also, that while we love to be associated with top quality television, we have other professional commitments that are as important to us as programme-making.”

I love watching programmes with Michel Roux Jr, as he comes across as intelligent, opinionated but not stuck in them, and he knows a soufflĂ© as well as I know Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup. Alas, we’ll see less of him now he’s moving away from the BBC, but this is a bold move and he should be applauded for it.

The UK (and probably the rest of the world) has, I think, grown up over the last decade when it comes to food and drink. We are more fussy when it comes to wine, less fussy about the flavours we have adventures with, and we know an awful lot more about the process of putting food on the plate. It’s thanks to those ‘celebrity’ chefs that annoy us, captivate us, humour us and cajole us that we have become more knowledgable about farming methods, supply chain, distribution, Fairtrade and sustainability. I dare say that I have probably, by social osmosis, learned a few French and Italian phrases that will reveal themselves via a knock on the head.

Roux Jr has decided that the Bloomin’ BBC (as I have called them since last year) isn’t bigger than his career, and that the most important things in his life shouldn’t be diluted by what sounds like shoddy management.

Aside from other TV channels, of course, where will we stay abreast of foodie things once Gordon and Michel et al take their leave and leave us with, oh god, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall? Who will police those unscrupulous food manufacturers who fill their products with salt and sugar? Who will act as the face of the general consumer when it comes to best practise for farming hens, or the ethical sourcing of cocoa, or the supervision of confusing labels on questionable meat products?

My money’s on Nigella.

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One thought on “BBC loses Michel Roux Jr (for now)”

  1. That’s a great piece of news that a chef has spurned tv in favour of prolonging his career at the top, and so he should.

    I cooked professionally for ten years carving out quite a happy career at mid level fine dining (1-2 michelin stars) and it is a disappointment to see how people tune in to various cookery programmes for shock, humour, familiarity, friendship or presentation to come away from their hourly viewing spouting facts and tidbits about how to do this and when to do that. It has bred an international family of AA Gill wanabees, if you know your salt you don’t usually need to impress on people this fact. Professional kitchens are not the place for the general public. It’s hot, dangerous and definitely no place for someone with a politically correct axe to grind. People come to and leave work at ungodly hours usually for fourteen straight hours maybe with a ciggy and a few coffee’s thrown in, the time for awe, simpering at dishes and stroking the ego does not exist in these dimensions. For now it seems that the finished glittering product is the captivated audiences prize, not the hard won task of performing repetitive tasks at 100% efficiency & standard day in day out for a small article to surface on “a great little unknown restaurant” simply to be swept aside by the trends pumped on us by the powers that be.Of course its all about gratification, that’s one of the base emotions for food consumption, because lets face it the facts on prep time and on how something is made is boring, what does it look like? No cookery programme ever covers the fact that some tasks take years to perfect, let alone why. Food should be a pleasure but with all these self help books on gnocchi and taramasalata its getting like the good sex guide of the 70’s and none of us should ever have to revisit that nightmare of inappropriately placed beards.

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