The international culinary community is mourning the loss of Australian chef and restaurateur Bill Granger, who died at the age of 54 in a London hospital.
Melbourne-born Granger passed away peacefully on Christmas Day, his family confirmed on Wednesday in a statement posted to Instagram.
Granger, “a dedicated husband and father”, leaves behind his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Inès and Bunny. All were at his bedside.
“It is with great sadness that the family of Bill Granger announce he has passed away on 25th December at the age of 54,” the post said.
“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.”
Known as Australia’s breakfast king, Granger was a self-taught cook who became a celebrated global restaurateur and food writer over his three-decade career.
Tributes have poured out from the international food world, including chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson.
“He was such a wonderful man, warm, charming, and had an extraordinary ease and style in cooking that could only come from Australia,” Oliver posted on Instagram.
“He was the loveliest man, and the joy he gave us – whether through his food, his books, the spaces he made for us, or in person – came from the kindness and generosity and sheer, shining exuberance of his very self,” Lawson said.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman and his former partner Deborra-Lee Furness said they would miss Granger’s friendship “most of all”.
“His talent, his joie de vivre, the way he brought people together and his commitment to family were inspiring,” they said, in a joint statement.
Television presenter and chef Adam Liaw described Granger as one of the pioneers of modern Australian food.
“His ‘sunny’ (his word, not mine) codification of Australian cafe culture at bills is the model on which every Australian cafe around the world is now built,” he said on X, formally known as Twitter.
Granger opened bills, his first restaurant, in 1993 at Sydney’s Darlinghurst.
He was handed a Medal of the Order of Australia in January for service to the tourism and hospitality sector.
At the time Granger said hospitality wasn’t the easiest business “but I can’t think of many other jobs where the job is just to bring a bit of happiness and sunshine into people’s lives”, in a social media post.
He and his wife built a successful business that has grown to 19 restaurants globally, including Sydney, London, Tokyo and Seoul.
Granger wrote 14 cookbooks and created five television series.