We caught up with Alain Roux, a French-British Michelin starred chef, and chef-patron of both The Waterside Inn in Berkshire and Brasserie Prince at The Balmoral.
My car of choice
Without doubt, the Maserati. It is my father-in-law’s pride and joy and me and my young son, Paul, are in awe of it. It is so cool; I love everything about it, especially its timeless, classic good looks and the dramatic, exciting sound of the engine when it starts up. It is elegant yet sporty and gives a flawless ride. It’s just beautiful, a dream car, even its name sounds exciting!
My favourite holiday destination
I love Europe, especially the Mediterranean countries and the best way to visit them is definitely on a luxury cruise. This year, my family, including my father, Michel, spent a wonderful holiday aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer and I could not recommend it more highly. We loved visiting North Africa, Spain, Italy, we found that every day was a new adventure. It was the ultimate holiday.
My gadget I can’t live without
My milk frother. I use it in the kitchens in all my restaurants and at home. It is an indispensable, neat, almost pocket-sized gadget. It’s useful not just for coffee but for making a delicious frothy, creamy sauce or a smooth dressing, perhaps a light purée of vegetables or fruits. It ensures a light bubbly texture and is great for emulsifying a sauce or preparing a light coulis, whether savoury or sweet. A frother is a versatile tool and useful for lazy chefs!
My go to fashion brand
Easily Paul Smith. I love his clothes especially shoes, shirts and jackets. His clothes are stylish and distinctive and give me confidence to live my busy life with ease and confidence. The quality is great and the styles are modern with an edge. There are always details that set the pieces apart and make them fun to wear. I am too busy to spend long thinking about what to wear. I can always put together the perfect outfit with ease, whether casual or formal, with my go-to label, Paul Smith!
My airline of choice
I find it difficult to choose between Singapore Airlines and Qantas. I have enjoyed faultless experiences with both. The aircraft interiors are stylish and comfortable, the hospitality and service are exceptional, the crew members are so professional and polite. Not forgetting the food that is always a very high standard. I could live aboard one of these planes!
My favourite watch brand
I choose a Rolex for its timeless, classic style and exceptional elegance. As a busy chef, I need to rely on a timepiece, whether to catch a flight, attend an important meeting or to help ensure perfect delivery of my dishes to our guests. A benefit of wearing chef whites means my wrists are constantly on show so I can display my watch. I have lost count of the admiring compliments and comments it draws when I wear it.
My favourite restaurant
Sat Bains’ Restaurant with Rooms in Nottingham; my friend, Sat Bain’s eponymous 2 Michelin star restaurant. Sat won the Roux Scholarship in 1999 and the family is so proud of what he has achieved. He is now one of our brilliant judges and works alongside us every year. Sat and I are joining forces this year to cook together at The Waterside Inn. We are hosting a joint dinner on 21st April 2020, sharing dishes in what promises to be a fantastic evening.
My guilty pleasure
It has to be my hazelnut chocolate spread that we serve at The Waterside Inn and sell online. I love it spread on fresh crusty bread but I have been caught spooning it straight from the jar into my mouth. My kids and whole family are addicted to the stuff.
My favourite way to give back
My cousin, Michel Jr, and I are privileged to be joint chairmen of The Roux Scholarship. Like our fathers, we believe that knowledge means nothing unless you pass it on. So we are committed to inspiring and helping develop young chefs. Founded by our fathers, Michel and Albert Roux in 1984, the scholarship has enabled a new generation of chefs from Britain to train in the greatest restaurants in the world.
Not only has it become the industry’s most acclaimed chef competition in the UK with many scholars having gone on to win Michelin stars themselves, it ranks among the most prestigious competitions for chefs in the world and has helped UK chefs gain international recognition. With at least 100 young chefs entering the competition each year, it is true to say many thousands of chefs have been inspired by the experience of competing. The competition is open to any chef under the age of 30 and is a great way to elevate a career.