Top Australian chef Bill Granger has tragically died.
Granger was often referred to as the ‘godfather’ of avocado toast.
He was a self-taught cook from Melbourne who went on to become a renowned restaurateur and food writer.
Throughout his career, Granger published 14 cookbooks, made multiple TV cooking shows, and opened dozens of restaurants in cities like Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul.
He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2023.
It has sadly been announced that the celebrity chef has died aged 54.
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Granger reportedly passed away ‘peacefully’ at a hospital in London on Christmas Day.
In a statement shared on his Instagram, his family penned: “A dedicated husband and father, Bill died peacefully in hospital with his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Ines and Bunny at his bedside in their adopted home of London.
“He will be deeply missed by all, with his loss most profoundly felt by his adored family, who are grateful for all the love and support that has been given.”
A cause of death hasn’t been disclosed at the time of writing.
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Fellow chefs have taken to social media and paid tribute to Granger, with Jamie Oliver writing that the news is ‘devastating’ and that the star will be ‘sorely missed’.
“What a guy he was… a wonderful human, kind calm soul… I admired everything he represented in food,” Oliver penned.
“I remember the first time I met him many moons ago he couldn’t have been nicer and his food so good.”
While Nigella Lawson wrote that she has been left ‘heartbroken’ by the news, adding: “So cruel, Deepest love to N, E, I and B.”
Australian chef Darren Robertson, who co-owns the Three Blue Ducks cafes, added that Granger ‘changed the entire breakfast game; he was an absolute gentleman’.
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Granger has been credited by many for creating the popular brunch item avocado toast, as per The Washington Post.
It’s a type of open sandwich which consists of toast and mashed avocado – it can come with a variety of spices and flavourful ingredients.
It was reportedly first sighted on a menu at one of Granger’s cafes in 1993. However, it truly became popular in the 2010s.
The unprecedented demand for avocados following the trend has even led some environmentally friendly restaurant and cafe owners to pull the item from their menus, according to The Independent.
However, in Granger’s interview with Australian Financial Review earlier this year, the chef’s avocado toast was described as his ‘gift to the world’.
Food writer Jill Dupleix wrote: “How did this happen? Surely this is the sort of natural pairing that you don’t even have to think about. You have an avo, you want toast – so you smash ’em together.”
In response, Granger said: “I know, it’s just a couple of ingredients, barely a recipe.”
The star would add that it’s something he tended to eat as it’s easy to make, adding: “Hospitality people always eat quickly because they have so little time. It’s immediately accessible, it’s fresh and it’s light. And it’s green.”
Granger would then tell Dupleix that to him, it represented being up on a sunny morning.
He recalled: “I grew up in Melbourne, and when I moved to Sydney, I was shocked by its morning life. People were on the beach, walking through the park, owning the day. It felt very Australian, very optimistic. I think avocado on toast is optimistic.”
Bill Granger is survived by his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Inès and Bunny.