Roux, Albert (1 of 9). Food: From Source to Salespoint

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  • Subjects

    Chefs; Restaurateurs; European cuisine

  • Recording date

    2007-11-19, 2008-01-30, 2008-02-14, 2008-04-30, 2008-05-27, 2008-06-10, 2008-07-30

  • Recording locations

    interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Roux, Albert (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dillon, Niamh (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Albert Roux [AR] mentions what he is wearing. Born on 8 October 1935 in little village in Saone et Loire well known for its Roman abbey. Number of people in family – older sister. Grandfather lived in Charolles – AR mentions his character. Explains how he became a millionaire: he was a charcutier [pork butcher] of repute. AR’s limited knowledge of grandfather’s family. AR’s family moved in with grandfather when father joined the Army in 1939/40. Describes grandfather charcuterie shop – [07.30] the smell of the shop. AR helping in the shop. [09.10] Explains the process of killing the pig – describes feeding the pigs. [00.14] AR mentions going to the forest to collect mushrooms and acorns – story about taking his children to collect girolles - how he knew which were safe to eat. [00.18] Moving to his grandfather’s house on horse and cart. His father joining the Army – later joined the Resistance. Explains how they were initially in Free France, seeing German soldiers on the border. AR feelings about the German soldiers and their Alsatian dogs – how his town suffered under German occupation. [00.22] France being liberated by the Americans – AR first seeing a black man and taking him home – the soldier leaving powdered orange and corned beef. [00.27] AR’s family moving to Paris – the arrival of brother Michel – Albert than went to live with childless aunt and uncle for 4 years. AR dislike of school – telling the class he wanted to be a chef [aged 13] and the class laughing because it was considered woman’s work. AR being advised to become pâtissier by his godfather who was a chef: AR apprenticeship aged 14. Comments on his godfather’s support [00.31]. AR comments on his arrival in England in 1953: encountering businessmen in bowler hats. Going into Lyons Corner house – paying in coupons. AR worked for Lady Nancy Astor in London and Clivedon. Eating chicken. Being given pyjamas and shirts for Christmas. Briefly mentions working at French Embassy. Talks about French businessman he worked for. AR’s mentions employment with Charles Clore in London. AR discusses his 3-year national service in Algeria. [00.40] Discusses feeling Anglicised. Story about being arrested on arriving back in England because his permit elapsed and being sent back to France. Applying for job as washer-up at British Embassy in Paris – being promoted. Explains how he met future employer Mrs Cazalet at the British Embassy in Paris. His close relationship with the Cazalet family. AR developing a love of horses at the Cazalet’s. Explains how Mr Cazalet agreed to invest in AR first restaurant. [00.48] Early memories of food before he lived with his grandfather: ox heart, waffles, home made jam, soups. Evening meals at home as a child. Describes the kitchen in his grandfather’s house: storage of food. [00.53] Food staples in their kitchen. Having guinea pig stew. Interior of kitchen. [00.58] Description of daily meals – AR wore clogs. [01.01] Explains how he wanted to be a priest as a child: he was an altar boy. Discusses incident with a priest which put him off the church. [01.08] Discusses celibacy for priests. Discusses abortion. Reflects on the importance of religion: importance of religion in his family. Describes the appeal of the Catholic church to AR. [01.16] What they ate on a Friday. Describes serving mass. The funeral mass. [01.22] Explains why mass was said in Latin. How Catholicism was major religion in his region. Talks about his understanding of Judaism – Catholicism. [01.26] His understanding of the War. [01.32] Discusses and recites La Marseillaise noting how aggressive it is. Talks about a French village burnt during World War II by the Germans. Mentions Nazi genocide.

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