Andrew Eliel, the former editor and chief inspector of the Egon Ronay hotel and restaurant guides, has passed away at the age of 70 following a long battle with cancer.
A graduate of the Lausanne Hotel School from 1963 to 1966 during which time he completed a stage at the InterContinental hotel in Geneva, Eliel returned to London to work at the Dorset Square hotel. He subsequently bought the property.
Eliel moved to the Egon Ronay guides as an inspector in 1983, later being promoted to chief inspector and then editor-in-chief when Ronay retired.
After leaving Egon Ronay in 1996, Eliel ran the Fully Booked restaurant consultancy with Simone Green, carried out inspections for Georgina Campbell's Guide To The Best of Irish Food & Hospitality, and was in great demand as a food awards judge.
Robin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels, said that he was proud to have known Eliel who will be sorely missed by his acquaintances and people who loved him.
"Before the advent of TripAdvisor and the internet the best way to find out whether a restaurant was any good was the Egon Ronay guide.
"Andrew Eliel was the editor and his steady hand on the tiller ensured a quality of advice and integrity that had real resonance.
"Quick of thought and sound of palate, Andrew's opinion counted. He could make or break you in a mouthful.
"But he will be remembered for more than that, he was a kind and compassionate man. Always keen to put the interests of others before his own, his altruism was legion."
Elizabeth Carter, editor of the Good Food Guide, said that she was grateful to Eliel for giving her, her first job in the guide book world.
"In many ways I owe my current position to his confidence in me," she explained. "I will always remember his encouragement and support during this period."
Christine Allanson-Bailey, former PR of the Bath Spa hotel, knew Eliel both professionally and personally.
"Andrew was a great champion of the British and Irish hospitality industry; he made a huge contribution to improvements in standards of food and service, " she said. "His hotel inspection visits were always bitingly honest."
Eliel leaves ones son, Oliver Morris. His funeral will be held on at 3pm 15 May, at Golders Green Crematorium, north London.