Le Gavroche (The Urchin) is a restaurant at 43 Upper Brook Street in Mayfair, London. It was opened in 1967 by Michel and Albert Roux although the original premises were at 61 Lower Sloane Street until 1981. The restaurant offers classical French food, although some dishes are more modern. Notable dishes are Soufflé Suissesse (cheese soufflé baked on double cream); Le Caneton Gavroche (whole poached duck in a light consommé served with three sauces for two); and Omelette Rothschild. Its name comes from the character Gavroche in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
|Owner(s)||Michel Roux Jr.|
|Head chef||Rachel Humphrey|
|Food type||French cuisine|
|Street address||Upper Brook Street|
|Postal/ZIP Code||W1K 7QR|
|Reservations||Three months in advance|
Le Gavroche is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having served the most expensive meal per head when three diners spent $20,945 on one meal (including cigars, spirits, and six bottles of wine costing $19,248) in September 1997.
Chefs who have worked in the kitchen of Le Gavroche include Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, Pierre Koffmann, Bryn Williams, Michael Smith, Konstantin Filippou and Monica Galetti.
Albert's son Michel Roux Jr is the current chef patron having taken over the kitchen in 1991. Under his stewardship Le Gavroche has been consistently placed in Restaurant's Top 50. The current Executive chef is Rachel Humphrey and the Head Chef is Gaetano Farucci.
In 2008 Silvano Giraldin, Le Gavroche's General Manager, retired after 37 years working there. He remains one of Le Gavroche's directors.
David Coulson, runner-up in the 2010 BBC series MasterChef: The Professionals, accepted an offer of employment from Michel Roux Jr during the final stages of the show and was to commence employment with Le Gavroche as chef de partie in January 2011. The current (2016) head chef is Rachel Humphrey.
In November 2016 it emerged that some employees were being paid as little as £5.50 per hour. This was considerably less than the 2016 legal minimum wage of £7.20 per hour. The restaurant has since committed to reviewing and increasing wages and the time that the restaurant is closed to reduce staff working hours. The restaurant was also further disadvantaging staff by treating the service charge as restaurant revenue, and not a tip, as it is commonly understood to be.
In 1974, Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in the UK to receive a Michelin star and was the first UK restaurant to receive two Michelin stars, this in 1977 while still at Lower Sloane Street. In 1982, after a move to the larger Upper Brook Street premises, it became the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars. It retained this rating until 1993 when it lost a star as the Chef Patron formally changed from Albert Roux to his son. Regarding the loss of the third star Michel Roux Jr said that "Certainly I would love three stars. I believe in the system and the recognition would be wonderful. But I am not cooking that style of food. There are dishes that are worthy of it but my style really doesn't suit that status."
- "Menu Exceptionnel". Le Gavroche. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "The Team". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- Kessler, Susan (15 January 2009). "Tracing Giraldin's Tree". Zagat.[dead link]
- "Job with Roux for top chef". Sunderland Echo. 3 November 2010.
- Booth, Robert (17 November 2016). "TV chef Michel Roux Jr paid kitchen staff below minimum wage" – via The Guardian.
- Le Gavroche – official site