The announcement ends a longstanding relationship, with the celebrity chef and owner of Le Gavroche having co-presented two of the BBC’s most successful food programmes - MasterChef: The Professionals and BBC Food and Drink – over the past six years.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision for me to make. I love working with the BBC, and am very proud of how we have built up the popularity and success of these two iconic shows.
“It’s not for lack of trying, but sometimes negotiating with the BBC can be a frustrating process, and there are times when I have wondered if the Corporation understands the realities of today’s commercial world.
“The BBC needs to recognise the value of the talent they work with, and also, that whilst we love to be associated with top quality television, we have other professional commitments that are as important to us as programme-making.”
Roux Jr followed this morning's announcement by tweeting: "Sad day for all concerned but I am and always will be the master of my own destiny."
MasterChef: The Professionals
As for his now-vacant position as a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals, a spokesperson for the show has told BigHospitality that ‘Michelle will be replaced for the 2014 series - and that’s currently being worked on’.
Roux Jr’s father Albert Roux and uncle Michel Roux were the first Brits to achieve three Michelin stars for their London restaurant Le Gavroche. Roux Jr trained in classical French cookery at Le Gavroche as well as other restaurants in London, Hong Kong and Paris.
He returned to Le Gavroche in 1990 and took over the restaurant when his father retired in 1993. He has written several cookbooks and first gained TV recognition appearing on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. In 2011, the chef presented ‘Michel Roux’s Service’, a BBC2 programme which aimed to raise the profile of front-of-house careers.
Roux Jr has said that he will honour his commitment to presenting a new BBC4 documentary ‘Chocolat’, which begins filming in a few weeks.