The Crumber

Michel Roux Jr, the chef patron of the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche in London, reflects on the humble crumber, an essential tool in the ritual of fine dining

I’m not sure where the first crumb scraper (or ‘table crumber’) was used, but it’s become a staple for any formal restaurant. We use a modern incarnation at Le Gavroche that is as small as a pencil, but some of the older ones I’ve seen are amazing – silver and ornate and decorated with the most beautiful detail. They’ve been adapted over the years by adding a brush, and then a roller. Now they are more discrete, which, I think, is better.

There’s a ritualistic aspect to waiting staff coming to your table and deftly sweeping away any bits of debris that may have escaped from your plate, although I do think some restaurants overdo it a little; unless you don’t have a bread plate, there’s no need to crumb in between every course. In my opinion, you should do it after the main course. It marks a moment, that transition from savoury to sweet, in the refreshing of the table.

Fewer restaurants now use tablecloths, so there is less need for a crumber, but I feel the humble crumb scraper offers a real sense of occasion, of distinctiveness, that will always have a place in dining.

Photography Jack Orton

This article is taken from issue 23. To buy the issue or subscribe, click here.

dunhill: Our London

Celebrate the capital through the eyes and minds of an architect, a chef, an entrepreneur and an adventurer, each with a unique story to tell about their city 

This month, dunhill has partnered with Port to present a series of four films exploring London through the eyes and minds of an architect, a chef, an entrepreneur and an adventurer. Chung Qing Li, Michel Roux Jr., Robert Scott-Lawson and Matthew Robertson are men of style and substance, each with a unique story to tell about their city.

Watch the full films from the Our London series here.

Michel Roux Jr. – Chef

Michel Roux Jr. is a Michelin-star chef and patron, and a man of classic taste and style. His restaurant La Gavroche, in London’s Mayfair, is one of the finest in the country. The name Roux is synonymous with French haute cuisine in Britain.

Matthew Robertson – Adventurer

Adventurer and filmmaker Matthew Robertson is a Londoner that finds peace in the wilderness. As the founder of Momentum Adventure, he scours the earth seeking out unique experiences and environments.

Chun Qing Li – Architect

Architect and entrepreneur Chun Qing Li is the founder of China Design Week and KREOD, an award-winning interior design and architecture practice in London. Standout designs include the China International Trade Pavilion built for the Rio Olympic Games 2016.

Robin Scott-Lawson – Entrepreneur

Robin Scott-Lawson is an established entrepreneur and has called London home since he was 18 years old. His London-based agency My Beautiful City specialises in high-end art direction, experiential marketing and event production. 

Watch the full films from dunhill’s Our London series here

A Port Creative production 

Photography: Christophe Meimoon at Quadriga Management
Styling:  Dan May
Grooming: Grooming by Tyler Johnston @ One Represents using Moroccanoil and Givenchy La Make Up
Production: Emma Viner
Interviewer:  George Upton
Editorial Director: Dan Crowe
Film Production Studio: Black Sheep Studios
Producer:  Michelle Hagen
Director:  Simon Lane 
DOP:  Tom Sweetland 
Exec Producer:  Dan Keefe