3 Michelin Star Chefs: Alain Roux, The Waterside Inn

The Staff Canteen

Alain Roux is the chef patron of three Michelin-starred The Waterside Inn in Bray-on-thames, berkshire.

The son of Michel Roux (19 April 1941 – 11 March 2020) and a member of vast family of prominent chefs and restaurateurs, Alain didn't stray too far from tradition by becoming one of the world's great chefs. 

Born and raised in the UK, he moved to France when his parents separated, aged 10. Four years later, he knew that an academic path wasn't for him and that he wanted to join the active workforce. 


The Waterside Inn

General Manager: Frederic Poulette

Assistant Manager: Dean Bonwick

Head Chef: Fabrice Uhryn

Ferry Road, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AT

Website:  www.waterside-inn.co.uk

Phone: 01628 620691

Opening times 

Monday Closed
Tuesday    Closed
Wednesday 12–2pm, 7–10pm
Thursday 12–2pm, 7–10pm
Friday    12–2pm, 7–10pm
Saturday 12–2pm, 7–10pm
Sunday    12–2:30pm, 7–10pm

When he made it known that he wanted to be a chef, he said that his father, Michel Snr. was both "over the moon" and "disturbed," only too aware of the dedication needed to be successful in hospitality.

How did Alain Roux get into the hospitality industry?

Just like his father and uncle, Alain trained first as a pâtissier, completing an apprenticeship under chef Denis Ruffel at the Pâtisserie Millet in Paris between 1984 and 1986. 

He spent his formative years working in prestigious French restaurants, including Anne-Sophie Pic's three Michelin-starred Restaurant Pic in Valence.

After leaving the Pic family restaurant, Alain did a year of national service working for French President François Mitterrand at the Élysée Palace in Paris, then worked at two star La Bonne Étape in Château Arnoux-Saint-Auban before taking up a position at chef Christian Germain’s one star Michelin restaurant at the Château de Montreuil.

The chef's final appointment before moving back to the UK was at La Côte Saint-Jacques, the two Michelin-starred restaurant located in the five-star hotel in Joigny.

He returned to the Waterside kitchen in 1992 at the age of 23, an experience he describes as "quite a shock" for both himself and his father. 

When he first joined The Waterside Inn, the chef said he was "not quite ready to work for or with my father," but they made it work - and ended up working together for almost three decades.

Alain was not given the head chef position straight away, not only because his father was chef patron but because it was expected that he climb the ranks like anyone else. 

What the guides say...

Michelin Guide UK                         

AA Restaurant Guide 

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Despite the great pressure to follow in his father's footsteps, Alain held up his own sense of professionalism with the restaurant under his direction, maintaining continuity and retaining the restaurant's three stars.

In 2002, Alain took over from his father as chef patron, working alongside head chef Mark Dodson until he left in 2005, and now with Fabrice Uhryn, who he describes as his "right hand and left hand."

While he no longer worked in the kitchen at The Waterside, Michel remained a strong presence at the restaurant until he passed away in March 2020.

Food Style

Similar to the style that has passed on to all the Roux’s, Alain based his style on classic French cuisine, with a refined approach and a modern interpretation.

He is most at ease in the pastry section, and is a member Relais Desserts, an international society of pastry chefs, which he joined in 2000.

The Waterside Inn and accolades

The Waterside Inn is the only restaurant outside of France to have retained three Michelin stars for more than 30 years - having first earned them in the 1985 guide.

The restaurant also has 4 AA Rosettes and is one of only seven in the UK to be named in The Grandes Tables du Monde guide.

The Roux family

The Roux family supports the industry in a number of ways including the Roux Scholarship - which every year gives the country's most talented chefs a chance to show their worth and win the much-coveted award, for which the prize includes a stage in a restaurant of their choice.

Founded in 1983 by Michel and Albert Roux, many of Britain's greatest chefs have won the scholarship, the first being Andrew Fairlie in 1984, followed by the likes of Sat Bains, Simon Hulstone, Mark Birchall and Tom Barnes.

Alain Roux videos:

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th August 2021

3 Michelin Star Chefs: Alain Roux, The Waterside Inn