Legendary French chef Michel Roux dies aged 79

Legendary French chef Michel Roux has died at the age of 79.

He died at his home in Bray, Berkshire, following a long battle with the lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Michel’s son Alain and daughters, Francine and Christine, on behalf of the family said: “It is with deep sadness that the Roux family announces the passing of our beloved grandfather, father, brother and uncle, Michel Roux OBE.

"The family would like to thank everyone for their support during his illness. While many of you will share our great sense of loss, we request privacy for the family at this difficult time."

The tribute said they are "grateful to have shared our lives with this extraordinary man."

"A humble genius, legendary chef, popular author and charismatic teacher, Michel leaves the world reeling in his wake," they added.

"For many, he was a father figure inspiring all with his insatiable appetite for life and irresistible enthusiasm.

"But above all, we will miss his mischievous sense of fun, his huge, bottomless heart and generosity and kindness that knew no bounds. Michel’s star will shine forever lighting the way for a generation of chefs to follow”.

James Martin posted an emotional tribute online, writing "we have lost a legend."

"Broken and so sad to let you know we have lost a legend and me a friend...words cannot describe what this man did for me in my life...he taught, he listened, he advised and he strengthened every part of what I do...Michel I love you, always have and always will..." Martin wrote.

"Take care my friend and I will see you soon."

Michel is widely regarded as the "greatest modern champion of British gastronomy" by many in the industry.

He and brother Albert opened Le Gavroche in Sloane Square in 1967 and it became the first three Michelin-starred restaurant in Britain in 1982.

Michel handed the restaurant over to his son, Alain, in 2002 and it has since moved to Mayfair and is looked after by Roux's nephew, Michel Roux Jr.

The Roux brothers took over Bray’s Waterside Inn in 1972 and the restaurant won three Michelin stars in 1985.

They also founded the Roux Scholarship in which 50 young chefs compete annually to win three months' experience in a UK or European three-Michelin-starred restaurant of their choice.

The Michelin guide wrote on Twitter: "Michel Roux OBE was a true titan of the hospitality industry.

"He inspired a whole generation of chefs and the UK restaurant scene would not be what it is today were it not for his influence. Our thoughts are with his family and the many who worked with this legendary chef."