I had to content myself with his book Memories of Gascony and imagine his food through eating at his ex-students' places like Marco Pierre White's Harvey's.
Then he sold up and fell off most people's radar screens. So when I heard he was back in town in a pop up restaurant I joined the queue on the phone to book a table without knowing what was going to be served, how much it was going to cost, and indeed, without knowing what Michelin star food would be like served in a tent on the roof of a department store.
On the whole I wasn't disappointed but perhaps slightly underwhelmed. Flavours were a little mute, service friendly but patchy, and the tent whilst being very light and airy had an irritatingly bouncy floor.
Perhaps my expectations were too high. And food in restaurants (and pubs and bars) is so much better these days than it was a decade or so ago, at least in London.
A pre-starter of langoustine bisque with a langoustine raviolo set the tone for a meal of high quality ingredients classically transformed into refined dishes which, by balancing richness and lightness, sometimes lacked impact.