Nico Ladenis has died aged 89

The Staff Canteen

Tributes have been made following the death of three Michelin-starred chef Nico Ladenis who died this weekend aged 89.

Nico Ladenis was a self taught chef who won three Michelin stars as well as a 10 out of 10 rating in the Good Food Guide for his restaurant Nico at Ninety in London.

Nico is remembered as a maverick who inspired a generation of chefs with his precise cooking and uncompromising style, opening his first restaurant Chez Nico in London in 1973.

In 1989, Nico opened Simply Nico in Pimlico, before moving the restaurant to Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair.

Six years later, the chef's Nico at Ninety on Park Lane was awarded three Michelin stars, making Ladenis the first British chef to receive the ultimate accolade.

In 1999, Nico handed back his stars admitting that he had been fighting prostate cancer and had become disillusioned with the three-star restaurant scene.

Commenting on this decision, Nico said: "The climate was changing. People were no longer appreciative of three-star food. The prices were much too high and I was beginning to feel that I preferred to cook simpler food. At the same time I was diagnosed with cancer and I thought to myself that it was time to go."

The news of his death was announced by his daughter Natasha Robinson, who took over the running of his restaurants following his retirement in 2003.

"A true gastronomic leader of chefs"

Following the announcement, tributes from across the hospitality industry have flooded in. 

Tom Kerridge, Owner of the Tom Kerridge Group, which includes the two Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers, said via his Instagram: "RIP Nico… a true culinary hero. Chef leader and inspiration to so many."

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Celebrity Chef James Martin, said: "RIP Nico Ladenis, one of the few true greats of the UK food scene"

Two Michelin-starred Sat Bains, Chef Patron of Restaurant Sat Bains, said in a post on Instagram: "RIP Chef Nico Ladenis. A true gastronomic leader of chefs that inspired a whole generation.  #thecustomerisnotalwaysright" 

Paul Flynn, Chef Owner of The Tannery Restaurant, Townhouse and Cookery School, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, said: "Sad news that Nico Ladenis has died. I spent 9 of my most formative years with him. He continues to have an influence on my cooking and career. I’m grateful to have had those years of experience in one of the most elite kitchens of its time. #RIPNico What a legacy you left."

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Steph Moon, Chef Consultant for All Things Food, said: "RIP Culinary legend Nico Ladenis, 3 Michelin stars, 10/10 Good Food guide and author of one of my most favourite cook books ever. :ucky to eat in his restaurant years ago, I can still remember it now."

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th September 2023

Nico Ladenis has died aged 89