Michel Roux Jr shares what fiery Gordon Ramsay is really like behind scenes

Michel Roux Jr worked with Gordon Ramsay in the kitchens of iconic French restaurant Le Gavroche, when he was head chef and his “fiery” colleague, who once called his uncle a “pompous old fart”, was under his direction.

Now, the 63-year-old has spilled the beans on what the quick-tempered Scotsman is truly like, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk – and his answer might surprise fans.

Describing Gordon as “adorable” and suggesting that TV edits might portray him differently for dramatic effect, he warned: “Let’s not forget television is entertainment.

“He was very fiery when he was a youngster, but there’s no denying of his natural talent,” he exclaimed.

“I think on television, he’s been portrayed as very hot-tempered, and driven, and passionate. But let’s not forget television is entertainment, and television picks out the choicest moments.

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“Behind the scenes, yeah [he’s different]. What you see on television isn’t exactly what Gordon is in real life. He is the most adorable and kind-hearted person out there.”

Balancing that out, Michel added: “He is, however, driven and passionate about what he does.”

According to the two Michelin-starred chef, Gordon is not just “naturally gifted” but “probably one of the most talented chefs we’ve ever had at Le Gavroche”.

However, Gordon dramatically clashed with his uncle, also named Michel, branding him a “pompous old fart” over his decision to ban photography in his Berkshire restaurant, The Waterside Inn.

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Michel Jr recalled: “Uncle Michel banned all photography in the restaurant [although] I think they’ve relaxed the rule now. He couldn’t stand it. It really annoyed and wound him up, whereas here at Le Gavroche, I’ve never stopped people taking pictures.

“I do myself when I go out. I take pictures of the food and pictures of the table. I think it’s just memories. I think it’s wonderful.”

Sadly, the Mayfair-based fine dining restaurant is due to close in January after 56 successful years trading, as Michel is keen to spend more time with his grandchildren and would like to “go out with a bang”, so he can shake up his work-life balance.

He says he has countless memories of funny moments in the kitchen with Gordon Ramsay, but jokily insisted: “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Vegas, I should say. There’s plenty of funny moments, but they will remain between Gordon and myself.

“What I can say is that he was one of the most naturally talented and gifted chefs we have ever had at Le Gavroche.”

Meanwhile, Michel will be making an appearance at the BBC Good Food Show next week, where he’ll be involved in four cooking demos, a book signing, and a Q&A.

“I’m cooking a mussel dish which is great, because it’s sustainable British mussels and it’s flavoured with the flavours of France so it’s slightly different,” he revealed.

“We’ve got a Provençal kind of flavor to it, and then a wonderful dessert of poached pears flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla, and an almond and bitter chocolate sauce. So a real kind of indulgent dessert as well.”

Michel is urging the public to “think outside of the box” when it comes to Christmas dinner, fittingly, as his daughter has a dislike for turkey, meaning that he’s accustomed to whipping up all kinds of unconventional dishes on the big day.

“If you don’t like Christmas pudding, then why not do [something different]? Lovely poached pears are in season and [are great with] a lovely chocolate sauce. Who doesn’t like chocolate sauce?”

Michel Roux will be appearing at BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW WINTER at NEC Birmingham. 23-26 November. Visit www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com for tickets and more information.

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