Michel Roux.

He is the patriarch of French haute cuisine and with his equally famous brother, Albert, trail-blazed the TV cooking-show phenomenon in the early 80s.

He faithfully ruled the kitchen at the Rothschild mansion in Paris, rubbing shoulders with screen legends and political icons and, when the Roux brothers launched their first London-based restaurant, Le Gavroche in 1967, Charlie Chaplin and Ava Gardner were among the guests to attend the opening party.

It was also the first British restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars and Roux's current family concern, the Waterside Inn at Bray, Berkshire, has basked in three Michelin-star glory for the past 27 years.

No wonder Queen Elizabeth rates it as one of her favourite dining haunts.

Welcome to the illustrious life of Michel Roux.

Honouring his journey in cooking, Roux will release his latest hardback this month, simply called Michel Roux, The Collection.

But it's not all fancy, complicated, richly-sauced recipes as one might expect. It's an honest compendium of hand-picked recipes from the heart - Roux's personal favourites which have been refined and perfected to complement the seasons.

"My current book was very difficult to put together simply because I had to limit the collection to just 250 recipes.

"I would have loved to have been able to add more. The recipes I have included are my favourites and I have added a few modern twists to some of the classic recipes included," Roux said.

He has already written 12 books which have sold a combined total of around 2 million copies worldwide.

"My desire to impart my knowledge undoubtedly drives me to write my books. Around 30,000 clients a year visit The Waterside Inn, which is now brilliantly run by my son, Alain, but for all the people around the world who cannot visit the restaurant, I feel inspired to enable them to learn about the cuisine practised there. I am so pleased to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience," Roux said.

There are chapters dedicated to Breakfast and Brunch, Starters, Vegetables, Eggs and Cheese - through to Desserts (Roux's soft-spot), Baking, Party Food and Stocks and Sauces.

But, his book aside, there is so much to divulge about Monsieur Roux who today, with his Australian wife Robyn, lives in Switzerland in between giving lectures and masterclasses at universities and colleges around the world.

As a youngster, Roux was inspired to cook by his mother and although it was his older brother Albert who encouraged him to join him as a chef and consequently move to London, Roux stands loyally by his mother's influence.

"I grew up and decided to start a business with my brother (Le Gavroche) and we worked hard and discovered success together. I respect him as my older brother but drew my initial inspiration from my mother . . . my love of food and cuisine came from her," he said.

Before moving to London and revolutionising the British food scene from dreary to delectable, Roux's brother Albert worked at the British Embassy in Paris as a sous chef.

He encouraged his younger brother, by then a trained pastry chef, to join him which was the springboard for the offering of a lifetime - the coveted role of head chef at Baron Philippe de Rothschild's mansion in Paris. To say it was a life-altering moment is an understatement.

"Working as a chef for the Rothschild family was a formative experience for me because I left school at the age of 14. I learned so much about art, culture, travel, wine, cuisine, menu planning, business and music," he said.

"It was better than a university education for me. I was privileged to meet Greta Garbo, Stavros Niarchos, George Pompidou and the Agnelli family.

"On occasions during my career, it has always been a wonderful privilege and a great honour to look after Her Majesty the Queen - simply indescribable."

A regular visitor to Australia, Roux draws inspiration from our fresh and contemporary approach to cooking.

"Australian cuisine has so much to offer and I always come away inspired by the fresh, modern, tasty and healthy food I enjoy there," Roux said. "The outdoor lifestyle creates a wonderful background to enjoy the light and creative dishes on offer."

The West Australian

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