Russell Norman: Restaurateur, author and Saturday Kitchen chef dies aged 57 | Ents & Arts News

Tributes have been paid to restaurateur, chef and author Russell Norman following his death aged 57.

Sir. Norman’s fame grew over the past decade as he starred in a television series advising new restaurant hopefuls and had several cookbooks published.

He also appeared on the hit weekend show Saturday Kitchen.

Sir. Norman was the founder of the award-winning Italian restaurant Brutto in London and co-founder of Polpo and Spuntino.

Richard Beatty, who set up Polpo with Mr Norman, said his “best friend” died after a “short battle in hospital”.

“He died surrounded by family and friends,” he said, as reported by Restaurant Online.

Sir. Norman’s first book, called Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts), was named Waterstone’s Book of the Year for 2012.

He followed that up with Spuntino – Comfort Food (New York Style), which won the 2016 Guild of Food Writers Awards for Best Food and Travel Book.

His fourth book, called Brutto: A (Simple) Florentine Cookbook, was published earlier this month.

Mr. Norman became a regular on television, starring in The Restaurant Man on the BBC, a six-part series that followed wannabe restaurant owners seeking guidance and advice from the chef.

‘A true creative force’

Ebury Publishing, the company behind the Brutto book, hailed a “genuine creative force”.

“We are all devastated to hear of the death of Russell Norman, our brilliant and much-loved author and restaurateur,” the group said in a statement.

“A true creative force, food genius and trailblazer.”

Tom Parker Bowles, the Queen’s son, who is a published food writer and critic, described Mr Norman as a “great writer, enthusiast, eater and restaurateur”.

“A wonderful and generous friend to so many of us,” he added.

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‘Gifted restaurateur’

Jay Rayner, a prominent food writer, said Mr Norman was “one of the most gifted restaurateurs, a fantastic writer and an awful lot of fun to be around”.

Bookstore chain Waterstones wrote on X: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Russell Norman, creator of Polpo and Brutto and winner of the very first Waterstones #BookOfTheYear in 2012.

“Not only an incredibly gifted restaurateur, but also a brilliant writer.”

Mark Lewis, chief executive of Hospitality Action – a support group for those in the industry – said Mr Norman was a “tremendous talent” and a “tremendous loss”.

“Such sad and shocking news about Russell Norman, RIP,” he said, adding that he “bumped into him” while enjoying a glass of wine “only a week or two ago”.

Sir. Norman is survived by his wife and three children.

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