Hospitality shock

Top chef Paul Kitching of 21212 dies, aged 61

Tributes have poured in from across the hospitality sector after it was announced that Paul Kitching, a Michelin-starred Edinburgh chef, has died aged 61.

In 2008 Mr Kitching set up 21212 in the city with his partner Katie O’Brien and within two years it was awarded a Michelin star.

He earlier created Juniper restaurant in Altrincham, Manchester, being awarded a Michelin star in 1997 which he retained for 11 years.  

In a statement posted on his Edinburgh restaurant 21212’s social media platforms, Ms O’Brien wrote: “My love has gone. But what a love x”.

In an email to customers she described Mr Kitching’s death on Thursday as a “total shock”. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

“Paul was an inspirational figure to everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him or working with him and we are all devastated,” wrote Ms O’Brien.

Tom Kerridge posted a crying face emoji while fellow chef Shane Osborn wrote: “Such tragic news to hear the sudden death of the genius Paul Kitching. He was incredibly kind, generous and extremely talented.

“The meal he cooked for me at Juniper some 20 years ago was one of best dining experiences of my life. His cooking and hospitality made people shine with joy.

“Paul you will be missed by so many, thanks for all the great memories . My thoughts and deep condolences to Katie, his family and the team at 21212’s.”

Michelin Star chef Michael O’Hare wrote on Instagram: “A true avant-garde and free thinker. What a guy.”

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