Michel Roux Jr misses being a ‘father figure’ to MasterChef hopefuls as show gets tougher
Former Masterchef: The Professionals judge Michel Roux Jr has revealed he enjoyed becoming a “father figure” to contestants during his time on the show, during an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk .
Although the competition has been tough this month, with tearful hopefuls receiving harsh criticism and berating themselves for “failing so badly”, Michel, who left the show in 2014, says he doesn’t think he has been too hard himself.
“Criticism must be fair and there must always be light at the end of the tunnel,” believes Michel.
“By that I mean, if someone made a mistake, then you should say so, but there should always be positives, so that the person who made a mistake understands how to make things better next time.”
He added that he really missed his time on the show, explaining: “I really enjoyed it, especially as a mentor and almost like a father figure to the contestants.
“[I’ll miss being] able to inspire them and help them achieve greater things.
Earlier this year, Michel’s appearance on Channel 4’s Five Star Kitchen ruffled some feathers and saw some online critics complain that his reviews were too harsh.
However, the star chef added that he never holds back from hurting people, as his priority is to teach them to avoid making mistakes in the future.
“I’ve always been very honest with my assessment and how I see it,” he explained.
Michel has not watched the current series of Masterchef: The Professionals, which he left in 2014 due to what the BBC described as a “conflict in his business interests” after endorsing a potato brand.
“To be completely honest, I haven’t seen any MasterChef series because I’ve been so busy – so maybe I’ll have to put it on Catch Up,” he confided.
The star added: “I used to watch it religiously when I was on it, and the reason behind that is I had to be 100% on point when people asked me about it.”
Michel has since reduced his professional commitments and closed the doors of his emblematic restaurant Le Gavroche in January to benefit from a “better balance between professional and private life”.
Even though the guests will miss the delicious French dishes and Michel even remembers the countless marriage proposals and emotional moments that took place in the restaurant, it is time to say goodbye.
Explaining that he now wants to spend more time with his grandchildren at the age of almost 64, Michel told Express.co.uk: “It’s coming to an end on my terms, so, you know, it “It’s my choice. And we left in style and with fanfare!”
Fans will be able to see Michel at the BBC Good Food Winter Show next week in Birmingham, where he will host four cooking sessions to demonstrate how different dishes are prepared, and take part in Q&As and book signings.
Former Masterchef: The Professionals and Saturday Kitchen star Michel Roux Jr will appear on the BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW WINTER at the NEC Birmingham. November 23-26.
Visit www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com for tickets and more information.