Moving tributes from some of the UK’s best-known chefs were paid to Scottish culinary great Andrew Fairlie, whose death was announced today (TUE).
“A quiet man who let his food do the talking”, was the reaction of MasterChef host and celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, who joined industry leaders to mourn the loss of Fairlie, whose restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel was the only one in Scotland to hold two coveted Michelin stars.
Scottish celebrity chef Tom Kitchin added: “Scotland has lost one of its best today in Andrew Fairlie. Such sad news. Our thoughts and condolences are with Kate, family and all the AF team… RIP chef x.”
Fairlie built a global and pioneering reputation for Scottish cuisine as Chef Patron of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles; he had fought a long battle with cancer after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005, which forced his retirement from the kitchen in November.
Gleneagles Hotel said in a statement that the Chef, whose accolades were unmatched in Scotland, described him as one of the “greatest chefs of his generation” and that “the positive impact Andrew has made – at home, and within his team, the global hospitality industry, and the culinary arts – is testament to his remarkable career and character.”
Andrew’s wife, Kate Fairlie, and his daughters, Ilona and Leah, on behalf of the family, said: “We are utterly heartbroken that Andrew has gone, but are so thankful we had this extraordinary man in our lives. He was a beautifully kind, generous loving son, father, husband, brother and friend, and enriched the lives of anybody lucky enough to meet him. He has taught us so many lessons in life, not least to be kind. He worked incredibly hard and his favourite thing to do was to create magic for us in the kitchen at home. We will miss his calm, wonderful spirit, his cheeky sense of humour and his loving nature.”
Speaking from Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Stephen McLaughlin (Head Chef) and Dale Dewsbury (General Manager) said: “We are heartbroken that Andrew has gone, and our thoughts go out to Andrew’s wife, Kate, and his family. Our sadness is matched only by our tremendous pride in all his achievements, and our thankfulness that we had the opportunity to share in his life and career. We have lost our colleague, mentor and friend who was always on hand with great judgement, humour and inspiration. We will miss him terribly, but will take strength and huge pride in continuing to burn the flame of outstanding cuisine, service and culture that he established.”
Fairlie’s past achievements included winning the first ever Roux Scholarship in 1984; becoming the first Scottish Chef of the Year in 2002 and being named AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year in 2006; he was one of only seven chefs in the UK to be named a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef du Monde in 2011 and in 2018 he was crowned Chef of the Year at the Food and Travel Magazine Reader Awards.
Sharan Pasricha, Founder and CEO, Ennismore, which owns Gleneagles Hotel, said: “Andrew was a true visionary, and one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. His extraordinary achievements in the kitchen have paved the way for future generations, and he’ll always be remembered as one of the greatest chefs of his lifetime. He was a huge part of our Gleneagles family and we’ll miss him more than words can say. We’re incredibly proud to continue his legacy so that many more people get the chance to experience what made him a culinary icon.”
A private funeral will take place, and later in the Spring a memorial service will be held at Gleneagles.