When chef Albert Roux stopped by our table at his restaurant, Chez Roux in Conroe, I shook his hand. The food was stellar. But it was also a real treat to talk to the legendary chef, since he only visits a few weeks out the year. "I've always wanted to meet the man who made Gordon Ramsay cry," I told him. The 75-year-old chef chuckled at that.
Roux trained Gordon Ramsay and several other top British chefs at Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair district, which in 1967 became the first English restaurant to earn a Michelin star. By 1982, the place had earned the top rating of three Michelin stars. Ramsay would go on to earn many Michelin stars of his own.
"But it must have been pretty hard to make Gordon Ramsay cry," I guessed, based on the hard-boiled image that Ramsay cultivates on television shows like Hell's Kitchen, where he swears a blue streak and regularly berates wannabe chefs until they sob.
"No it's not hard at all," Chef Roux confided. "Gordon has a very big heart. He is nothing like the guy you see on television." Chef Roux may have reduced Ramsay to tears, but he is mild-mannered compared to many French chefs.
Ramsay, who is often accused of being a bully in the kitchen, points to chef Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy as the mentors who really taught him how to get in a young chef's face.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.