Chef Bindu Patel, who opened Sanctua vegan restaurant in Leicester last year after working at Michelin-starred venues in London, has died. She was 37.
A statement has announced the closure of the restaurant following the death of its head chef on Friday.
"To all customers and friends. It is with great sadness that we inform you that Sanctua will no longer be opening. Please all say a prayer for chef Bee who sadly passed away on the 24th January 2020."
Patel had worked at JKS restaurants Gymkhana and Trishna in London before opening the 40-cover restaurant in her home city of Leicester.
Vegan restaurant Sanctua offered a plant-based menu utilising local and seasonal produce, with a focus on reducing food waste.
PR George Shaw, who first met Patel while representing the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), said: "Bindu was a talented, intelligent woman – who personified the key messages the ACF wanted to communicate with its members – to move away from cheap curry house cooking; offer authentic, regional healthy dishes and employ more women in the kitchen. She will be greatly missed."
Patel completed a degree in law and worked on a local dairy farm before pursuing her career as a chef. She is survived by husband Neil, and her three children aged eight, seven and five.