Nico Ladenis dead: Top chef who mentored Marco Pierre White & won three Michelin stars dies aged 89 as tributes pour in | The Sun

Nico Ladenis dead: Top chef who mentored Marco Pierre White & won three Michelin stars dies aged 89 as tributes pour in | The Sun

September 11, 2023

A LEGENDARY chef and restaurateur who mentored Marco Pierre White has died at the age of 89.

Highly-influential Nico Ladenis found fame in the 1990s when his 90 Park Lane restaurant in central London's Mayfair won three Michelin stars.

He had previously opened Chez Nico in Dulwich, south London, in 1973 – followed by Simply Nico in Pimlico 16 years later.

He has been compared to fellow London restaurant legends such as Raymond Blanc and the Roux brothers.

He only went into the dining trade aged 37 after previously working in the oil and gas industry.

He became the first self-taught chef in Britain to be awarded three Michelin stars, in 1995.

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But he asked to hand them back four years later, citing his disillusion with the London restaurant scene while also battling prostate cancer.

He said at the time: "Working in a three-star restaurant is very restrictive and people do not want to eat very expensive food.

"You cannot fool around in the restaurant if you have three stars and I want to make it more relaxed."

Dad-of-two Ladenis, born in what's now Tanzania while of British-Cypriot heritage, also published two acclaimed books – My Gastronomy in 1987 and Nico nine years later.

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He mentored many chefs who went on to success of their own, including not only Pierre White but also Jason Atherton and Andre Garrett.

Sat Bains, who runs two-Michelin-star Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham, was among those paying tribute today.

He posted on X/Twitter that Ladenis was "a true gastronomic leader of chefs that inspired a whole generation".

And celebrity chef Tom Kerridge praised him as "a true culinary hero".

Chez Nico became one of only seven UK restaurants to be given a maximum ten out of ten by the Good Food Guide.

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