Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching has tragically died aged 61, his partner Katie O’Brien announced.
In a moving statement posted on his Edinburgh restaurant 21212’s social media platforms on Thursday, she wrote: ‘My love has gone. But what a love x’.
The chef’s cause of death has yet to be revealed.
In an email sent out to customers of the restaurant, Katie described Paul’s death as a ‘total shock’.
She wrote: ‘Dear friends, it is with a 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.’
Raised in Gateshed, Paul’s career began in a Latin American restaurant in Newcastle, where he worked as a pot wash.
He later moved moved to York, where he discovered his passion for cooking.
He launched Juniper restaurant in Manchester and was awarded a Michelin star in 1997, which he retained for 11 years.
Reflecting on his first Michelin restaurant, he said: ‘The food was pure Marco Pierre White inspired, it had a little bit of me in it but it was influenced by his style.
‘By the time we closed it everything from when we opened, as in the Marco food style, was gone. It had become a mirror image of who I thought I was.’
In 2009 the talented chef set up 21212 in Edinburgh with his partner Katie, which also went on to be awarded a Michelin star.