Michelin Darling Le Gavroche Announces Closure Over Chef's Stress

Le Gavroche, a long-standing restaurant that helped lay the foundation for the culinary scene in the United Kingdom, will be closing its doors in 2024. Le Gavroche has held two Michelin stars since 1977, with the Michelin Guide describing the restaurant's food as "a roll-call of refined, sophisticated French classics that delight and satisfy in equal measure." The decision to close, made after careful consideration, signifies an undeniable loss for the food and restaurant industry, but head chef Michel Roux Jr. has expressed confidence in his decision.

In a statement posted on the Le Gavroche website, Roux said, "I must make time for a better work/life balance, so I can spend more time with my family and on my other business ventures." Roux emphasized the importance of closing while the restaurant was still very successful. However, this closure does not mark the absolute end of this beloved and historical institution; the Le Gavroche brand will resurface on a smaller scale through pop-ups and other concepts in the future.

What is the history of Le Gavroche?

Founded in 1967, Le Gavroche was a transformative force in a United Kingdom culinary scene that was once bereft of creativity and sophistication. Noteable restaurants were virtually nonexistent until brothers Albert and Michel Roux establisted Le Gavroche in Sloane Square, focusing on "classically rich French haute cuisine." The restaurant achieved Michelin stars 1974, 1977, and 1982, standing side-by-side with only a select few establishments, and becoming the first in the United Kingdom to be honored with a third Michelin star. Not only did Le Gavroche bring London to new culinary heights, but the restaurant served as a training ground for well-known chefs such as Paul Rankin, Marco Pierre-White, and Gordon Ramsay. 

In 1982, Le Gavroche moved to Upper Brook Street in the Mayfair neighborhood, continuing to serve exquisitely prepared French cuisine. Michel Roux Jr. took the reins from his father and uncle in 1991. Though the style of the food has evolved to become a bit lighter and more whimsical, French technique and decadence remain central, with emblematic dishes like the Soufflé Suissesse — a mile-high, rich, Gruyère cheese soufflé that continues to be featured as the first course on the tasting menu. Le Gavroche will soon announce several special dinner services to celebrate its storied past in the months leading up to the official closure in January 2024.