Head to Head - John Williams MBE and Alain Roux

Publish Date: June 15, 2021 Posted By: Satpal Juttla

Watch the sixth video in our series of Head to Head films to mark our 40th Anniversary. A year on from the loss of the legend Michel Roux, his son Alain Roux talks to John Williams about The Waterside during the pandemic and the importance of apprenticeships.

Alain Roux the chef-patron of the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, said that the industry must "give the younger generation a chance of spreading their wings".

He added: "I know we're all having a tough time, and we're not there yet, but I really feel for the younger generation. I want them to know that they have our support, and they deserve the world."

Roux said that he would do all he could to encourage youngsters into the industry. "I will open my doors for stage, for trainees, front of house or in the kitchen, but I'll also do my best to have some apprentices too," he said. "It can be tricky in our world of three-Michelin-starred restaurants, but it can be done."

When asked about recently becoming a RACA member, Roux admitted that he had thought he was since he was paying for a membership.

"I thought I'd been part of the academy for many years but I now realise I was paying my dad's fee," he confessed.

Addressing Michel Roux's death in March 2020 he said: "A week before lockdown unfortunately I lost my father. We lost an icon, a leader, a mentor. A lot of people's friend. The family has been hit by that. A week later was the lockdown and having to close all our businesses. And not even 10 months later my uncle [Albert Roux] passed away.

"Having to deal with that on top of the work-life has been pretty tough. But I think lockdown has given us the time to think and work in a different way. To think positively. To catch up on things and ways we have done in the past and be ready to reopen."

Many thanks to The Caterer Magazine for highlighting the importance of their words. CLICK HERE to read the full article.