Legendary chef Paul Kitching dies suddenly aged 61 - 'The love of my life has gone'

Chef Paul Kitching has died aged 61
Chef Paul Kitching has died aged 61

Tributes have been paid to Chef Paul Kitching who has died aged 61

Published

Paul Kitching - the Michelin-starred chef - has died aged 61 with his partner Katie O'Brien sharing the devastating news on social media.

Tributes have been paid from across the hospitality world following the death of the world-class chef who created Juniper restaurant in Altrincham, Manchester which won him a Michelin Star in 1997 for 11 years.

Kitching then left the Manchester business for a new venture, 21212 in Edinburgh, which he set up with his partner, O’Brien in 2008.

The acclaimed restaurant quickly became a favourite in the Scottish capital and was awarded a Michelin Star in 2010.

Tributes have been paid to chef Paul Kitching
Tributes have been paid to chef Paul Kitching

O’Brien issued a statement on all 21212's social media platforms with a photo of the chef and the heartbreaking news.

She wrote: "My love has gone. But what a love x"

In an email to customers of the restaurant, she paid further tribute to her partner and described her "total shock".

She wrote: "Dear friends, it is with heavy heart that I write to let you know that I've lost my love - Paul - who sadly passed away yesterday.

"The death has come as a total shock to us at 21212 and we are trying to come to terms with the passing of a legend within our industry. Paul was an inspirational figure to everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him or working with him and we are all devastated."

Kitching started his culinary career as a porter in a Latin American restaurant in Newcastle before moving to York as a commis chef, realising he had a passion for classical cooking.

He moved into Michelin kitchens in his early twenties including Restaurant 74 and Gidleigh Park before achieving his own star with his first restaurant Juniper.

Paul Kitching's partner Katie O'Brien has paid tribute following his sudden death
Paul Kitching's partner Katie O'Brien has paid tribute following his sudden death

Chef Gary Usher, who runs the Elite Bistros restaurants group across the northwest, said on Twitter: "This is awful news I’m so so sorry. He was so kind to me when I needed an arm around me more than ever.

"He was one in a million and a genius too."

Reacting to the sudden loss, fellow Edinburgh chef Dean Banks – of the Pompadour in Princes Street Waldorf Astoria – wrote a moving tribute on Instagram.

He said: “A true inspiration to thousands of chefs who passed through his doors and to many more. Paul taught me there are no rules in cooking. Lemon tart with Chicken, STP with venison are a few that I mention a lot. Paul will live on through his cooking and teaching.

“Paul was my last head chef before I went out on my own and was truly part of creating me and my style. My condolences to all who loved him and to all who look up to him as one of the greats. He will be missed dearly.”