‘Innovative and passionate chef' Paul Kitching dies

16 December 2022 by
‘Innovative and passionate chef' Paul Kitching dies

Paul Kitching, chef patron of 21212 restaurant with rooms in Edinburgh, has died.

His partner, Katie O'Brian, with whom Kitching founded 21212 in 2009, wrote a message to the restaurant's mailing list, revealing the news.

She said: "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."

She also posted on Twitter:

"My love has gone. But what a love x".

The industry showed their support, with Marc Williams, cookery school director at the Grand, York, tweeting: "So sorry. RIP. He rang the kitchen at Seaham hall once, I picked up and said do you want me to get Kenny Atkinson. He said no "just checking in, how's your prep list looking?" next day he phoned back and the sous chef answered, put Marc on. "How's the list gone?" Felt so special."

Gary Jones, former executive chef of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, commented: "Paul was such great fun and his unique cooking and imagination had no boundaries... our trip to France will never be forgotten, RIP, my friend."

The Master Chefs of Great Britain posted on Facebook: "We are incredibly shocked to hear the news of Paul Kitching's passing. An innovative and passionate chef who will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time."

Kitching was born in 1963 and started his career in hospitality as a potwasher in 1981. After three years of studying at Newcastle Polytechnic he worked at Michelin-starred establishments such as Gidleigh Park in Chagford and Restaurant 74 in Canterbury.

He became head chef for the first time at Nunsmere Hall hotel in Cheshire in 1991. He then won a Michelin star at his first restaurant, Juniper in Greater Manchester, which he opened in 1997 alongside O'Brian. 21212 also held a Michelin star between 2009 and 2019 and four AA rosettes.

Kitching received the Prince Philip medal for services to the catering industry.

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