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.
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 head chef is Rachel Humphrey.
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.
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 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."
In November 2016 it emerged that some workers were being paid as little as £5.50 per hour. This is 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.
- Kessler, Susan (15 January 2009). "Tracing Giraldin's Tree". Zagat.
- "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.