My haven: Two-star Michelin chef Michel Roux Jnr, 52, relaxes in the south London home he shares with wife Giselle
Chef's special: Michel Roux Jnr relaxes in the Clapham flat he lives in when he and his wife Giselle are not in France
1 OUR DEAR DAUGHTER
We have a big house in France, but in London my haven is our flat in Clapham. It’s cosy and well-used. Our daughter Emily, who’s 21, is – surprise surprise – training to be a chef at the Paul Bocuse Catering School in Lyons, and this is her graduation picture, taken last October with Paul, the granddaddy of French gastronomy, and Michel Guerard – another famous French chef. She has a big grin on her face and I’m very proud of her.
2 GIVE IT A TRY
This rugby ball is special because it’s signed by French rugby star Serge Betsen. On the field he was a beast with a reputation for putting his head where it hurts, but he’s a lamb really. He retired last year and I helped with the menu for his testimonial. We raised money for the Serge Betsen Academy, which helps kids in Africa get into rugby and give them hope for a better life. I’m a Harlequins fan and go to most home games.
3 ART'S DESIRE
Collecting art is a passion of mine and this painting by French artist Pierre Yves Gervais is huge. At first glance you might think it’s an abstract, but in fact it’s a detailed replica of the engine of the Formula 1 Renault F15 that won the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1985. I love Formula 1. The engine sits proudly on a plinth in the picture. Petrolheads know it’s an engine immediately, but the non-initiated think, ‘What the hell’
4 RECIPES FOR LIFE
I collect old cook books too, and Georges Auguste Escoffier’s Guide Cullinaire is quite simply the culinary bible. He was a French chef, restaurateur and writer who popularised and updated traditional cooking methods. He published his first book in 1903. I love hunting for these old books. To me they’re wonderful, and leafing through them is so much more satisfying than looking things up online. And they last a lifetime.
5 THE LONG RUN
This is my medal for completing my 18th London Marathon this year in 3hrs 54mins. It never gets any easier so I train seriously – running a marathon should never be taken lightly. I raised quite a lot of money for VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Take Action), which helps children realise their ambitions despite difficulties with their sight. I had lots of issues with my eyes as a child and I still do, so the charity is close to my heart.
6 A VINTAGE YEAR
My father Albert and my uncle Michel opened Le Gavroche in London in 1967, so I collect bottles of wine from that year, like these of fine Cte-Rtie, which are important because they celebrate that extraordinary time. I’ve got lots of these stashed away for the 50th birthday of the restaurant that I’m now very proud to run. I shall be having a big party for friends and drinking a toast to my father and uncle.
Michel’s range of Global knives starts at 250 for a 3-piece set. www.globalknives.uk.com