The world of food has lost one of its brightest stars. Bill Granger, the Australian chef, restaurateur and food writer, passed away at the age of 54 on Christmas Day.
His family shared the sad news on his Instagram account on Tuesday, saying that he “died peacefully” in a London hospital, surrounded by his wife Natalie Elliott and their three daughters, Edie, Inès and Bunny.
They did not reveal the cause of his death.
Many of his friends and fans paid tribute to him on social media, including his fellow Australians Hugh Jackman and his ex-wife Deborra-Lee Jackman, who were close to Granger and his family.
“We are devastated to hear the news of Bill’s passing,” they wrote in an Instagram story.
“His talent, his joie de vivre, the way he brought people together, and his commitment to family were inspiring. We will miss his friendship most of all. Our love goes out to Natalie and their 3 incredible daughters Edie, Ines and Bunny.” The Jackmans signed off their post, “Rest in peace. Deb & Hugh.”
The man who made toast a trend
Granger was a renowned and self-made chef, who opened 19 restaurants around the world. He also authored 14 cookbooks and hosted five TV shows that aired in Australia and the U.K. His family called him the “king of breakfast” — and he is widely credited for popularizing avocado toast in recent years.
Simplot notes that the first recorded sighting on a menu was believed to be at one of Granger’s restaurants in 1993.
Other famous chefs, such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, also expressed their grief and admiration for Granger on social media.
“I’m heartbroken to hear this. So cruel,” Lawson commented on the family’s post.
“Shocking and deeply sad news to hear of his death today,” Oliver said on Instagram.
“I loved @bill.granger so much, he was such a wonderful man, warm, charming, and had an extrodinary ease and style in cooking that could only come from Australia.”
“Many moons ago i remember going to his first Sydney restaurant in Darlinghurst it was so cool, so relaxed, great food and coffee and years ahead of its time,” Oliver added.
“He was there in full effect so welcoming and just so nice.”
Granger’s family thanked everyone for the kind words and support, “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,”