Recent Productions
The First Masterchef: Michel Roux on Escoffier
The First Masterchef: Michel Roux on Escoffier

1 x 60 min for BBC
Broadcast: November 12th, 2012

Michel Roux Jr explores the life and influence of his great culinary hero, Georges Auguste Escoffier. The man who turned eating into dining. The first great restaurant chef, Escoffier established restaurants in grand hotels all over the world and in these centres of luxury and decadence, the world's most glamorous figures of the day would mix: actresses and princes, duchesses and opera singers. Catering to this international jet set, Escoffier produced fabulous dishes that combined luxury and theatricality, elevating restaurant food to an art form. In a time of untold luxury and decadence, when money and pleasure combined like never before, he cooked and named dishes for all of London's society - from Queen Victoria and Bertie, the fun-loving Prince of Wales, to the most glamorous entertainers of the day - Oscar Wilde, the actress Sarah Bernhardt and opera singer Nellie Melba. 125 years later, Michel joins historian Kate Williams to enjoy a very delicious Peach Melba in the Savoy today and discover how the Victorian British were convinced that eating out was the thing to do . Prior to Escoffier and the Ritz, 'nice' women would never have been seen eating in public.

But there's a dark secret, one that Michel has heard of but never wanted to believe - that after 8 years Escoffier was fired from the Savoy for being on the fiddle. Food journalist Paul Levy, who first published the accusations, tells all. But as well as delving into the history of his hero, Michel will also explore the palpable influence that Escoffier has had on all our lives today. Whenever we step into a restaurant and order a meal it’s his traditions, systems and skills at work - the a la carte menu, the prix fixe, the organisation of the kitchen and the way a dining room is decorated. And it’s for that reason that Michel Roux Jnr, one of this country’s most celebrated and favourite chefs says that he owes his whole career to Escoffier. Along the way we witness some of his most delicious dishes and finally we see the evolution of one of Michel's own creations as he explores one of Escoffier's most basic recipes and turns it into a Michelin starred 21st century dish.

Video Clips
Escoffier's Menus   Escoffier's Meat Press
Escoffier's Menus - Click to play   Escoffier's Meat Press - Click to play
Michel Roux Jr takes us through how Auguste Escoffier tailor-made his menus in an attempt to educate his diners.   To get an insight into how theatrical Auguste Escoffier used to be when presenting his dishes to diners, Michel Roux Jr tastes an Escoffier-inspired dish at the Ritz.
Click to enlarge   Click to enlarge   Click to enlarge    

Presented by:
Michel Roux
Claire Lewis
Executive Producers:
Nancy Bornat
Claire Whalley
Assistant Producer:
Sarah Dean
Director of Photography:
Andy Muggleton
Simon Beeley
Head of Production:
Nic Preston
Production Coordinator:
Robert Hanger