Chef Michel Roux Jr has lifted the lid on the reason why Gordon Ramsay called his uncle a “pompous fart” – and who he sides with in their culinary debate.
Back in 2017, his 76-year-old uncle, Michel Roux, had instructed staff to put up signs saying “No photos, please”, after revealing he was “getting so upset” with diners taking a constant stream of photos at the plush Michelin-starred Waterside Inn.
Gordon took to Twitter (now X) to brand him “b****y pompous”, firing back: “It’s a compliment to the chef the fact that customers want to take pictures of dishes they’ve paid for – it’s 2017.”
“If I see a great looking picture posted, I’ll want to go eat there immediately, he’s just an old fart who’s forgotten to move on,” the 57-year-old chef added at the time of his rant.
Six years on Michel Jr told Express.co.uk: “Uncle Michel at the Waterside Inn banned all photography in the restaurant. He couldn’t stand it. It really annoyed and wound him up.”
However, the 63-year-old has very different opinions on smartphone-obsessed diners, insisting: “At [my restaurant] Le Gavroche, I’ve never stopped people taking pictures. I do myself when I go out.”
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The former Saturday Kitchen star added: “I take pictures of the food and pictures of the table. I think it’s just memories. I think it’s wonderful.”
Meanwhile, Michel Jr – who worked with Gordon himself at his Mayfair restaurant Le Gavroche, when the fiery TV chef was younger – has declared that he isn’t as confrontational as he might seem.
“What you see on television isn’t exactly what Gordon is in real life. He is the most adorable and kind-hearted person out there,” Michel stated.
“He is, however, driven and passionate about what he does.
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“I think on television he’s been portrayed as very hot-tempered and driven and passionate, but let’s not forget television is entertainment and television picks out the choicest moments.”
Gordon was trained by members of the Roux family and Michel speaks highly of the time he spent under his direction at Le Gavroche – the first restaurant in Britain ever to be awarded three Michelin stars.
“He did exceptionally well here [when I was head chef]. Gordon is naturally gifted… probably one of the most talented chefs we’ve ever had,” he declared.
Meanwhile, it turns out that the no photos rule enforced by his uncle has since been “relaxed”.
In January, Le Gavroche will be closing its doors for the last time, as the Masterchef: The Professionals TV ace has vowed to scale down on work commitments to spend more time with family.
However, he’ll never forget the “fond memories” he’s made, revealing: “Le Gavroche means so much to so many people. There’s celebratory moments of joy and happiness and every day at the moment.
“When I go around to the tables and see everyone, there’s very often tears in their eyes and [people are telling us about, for instance, how they got engaged here and have been coming here every year since.”
Michel Roux will be appearing at BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW WINTER at NEC Birmingham from 23-26 November. Visit www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com for tickets and more information.
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