Emily Roux is the 27-year-old daughter of Michel Jr and granddaughter of Albert – and when you’re born into the Roux family, it appears, a love of food goes with the territory. So does, it seems, opening your own restaurant. Together with her husband Diego Ferrari – former head chef of two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche – Emily has opened Caractère. Savour contributor and The Staff Canteen Editor, Cara Houchen, talks to Emily about her new venture.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
Opening my own restaurant with my husband. It has always been a dream of ours.
Describe one of your earliest food memories.
I remember making fresh spaghetti with my father. The kitchen was covered in flour and drying pasta.
What do you have in your fridge at home right now?
Bread, salted butter, nduja, fruit juice, eggs, pecorino and parmesan from my in-laws. Not that much really … I only get the chance to eat at home once or twice a week.
If you could have dinner with any chef, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Paul Bocuse. I think he would have amazing stories to tell.
What’s your signature dish and why?
We have a Celeriac Cacio e Pepe at Caractère that really represents Diego and I. It’s a well known Italian pasta dish that I have always loved and that his mother always prepares for me when we go to Italy. However, we have chosen to use the earthy root vegetable that is celeriac to replace the fresh pasta. We roll out the celeriac through a Japanese Mandolin and then cook it gently in the peppery cheese sauce.
Tell us something about yourself that we might not know?
I used to hate everything sweet as a child. No chocolate, no sweets and definitely no desserts. That’s now changed.
Which restaurant (not your own) did you last eat at?
Duddell’s London [the first restaurant of the Duddell’s brand to open outside of Hong Kong where the original was founded in 2013].
What one piece of advice would you pass on to young chefs?
Hard work pays off – so keep your head down.
Describe dining at Caractère in five words.
Delicious, uncomplicated, comfy, friendly, satisfying.
Who would you choose as your chef to watch and why?
My husband Diego Ferrari because we know too little about him.