Spotlight: Michel Roux Jr to reward outstanding pandemic contributions with Table for Heroes at Le Gavroche
With the aim of promoting a food industry that is sustainable and diverse, The Upcoming has launched a new Spotlight series, a monthly feature to give space to people, often unsung, who are changing things for hospitality. This month we focus on the gesture of chef Michel Roux Jr who wants to use his celebrated Mayfair restaurant Le Gavroche to reward the frontline workers who assisted those in need during the pandemic.
The past few months may have been hellish for hospitality, but this has not stopped one of London’s most successful chefs from taking the time to recognise that some individuals, in the face of equal – if not more considerable – hardship, have shown remarkable resilience. Esteemed two-Michelin-starred Michel Roux Jr has decided to pay homage to the people who have fought selflessly to help others during the Covid crisis, from nurses and doctors to dedicated next-door neighbours.
“From firemen to food store employees, from teachers, volunteers, charity workers, carers to soldiers, so many people in the community have done such a magnificent job during the Covid-19 outbreak,” says Roux. “We want to say thank you, not just to the front-line workers, but to everyone who has done their bit to make a difference to someone else over the past year.”
This is why Le Gavroche is inviting friends, family and colleagues of all deserving pandemic heroes to nominate their loved ones for a chance to enjoy a meal for two on the house. Roux and his team want to mark the re-opening of the hospitality industry by celebrating the philanthropic sacrifices of these special people. Countless people across the nation have been putting their own needs second for months on end, and this is a chance for a lucky few to be spoiled with incredible service and world-class cooking.
There are 25 Tables for Heroes available at Le Gavroche from June until the end of the year, and the successful nominees will be invited to one of Britain’s most revered dining rooms, where they will be treated to a four-course Saturday lunch or dinner with drinks for them and a guest of their choosing.
All nominations must be made through Le Gavroche’s website. In order to get their hero through the shortlisting process, one needs to submit a quick post listing the nominee’s role, a shot of them in the act and an example of the outstanding work they have done during the pandemic. Following this, the team at Le Gavroche will, over the next few weeks, do more research into these outstanding contributions and choose the 25 people who they feel have made the greatest difference.
“There’s no doubt that there are thousands of heroes out there who deserve our thanks for their magnificent community spirit over the past year,” adds Roux. “I wish we could reward each of them, but we will do our best to make sure that each of the 25 people and their guests who can join us at Le Gavroche enjoy a convivial meal, surrounded by our appreciation for their selflessness.”
The chef’s gesture is an important one for the hospitality industry, particularly in the move towards a more accessible fine dining sector. This seemingly simple act is a great example of a high-profile chef using their position in aid of the the wider community to reward those who deserve it most. The pandemic, while incredibly trying for the majority of kitchens, has also been a good opportunity for those with more power to recognise their privilege and create a platform for reciprocity. Hopefully this kind of initiative is just the first of many.
To make a nomination, visit Le Gavroche’s website here.