Largely self-taught, Ladenis was the first chef of British citizenship to attract three Michelin stars and was highly influential, imparting his culinary philosophies including ‘precision, restraint, simplicity’ and ‘consistency, consistency, consistency’ on generations of younger chefs.
He was also known for his belief that the customer was not always right and strict approach in both the kitchen and dining room with diners occasionally precluded from ordering things he didn’t deem appropriate.
Despite his uncompromising and at times cantankerous approach, he was a hugely respected industry figure.
Writing on Instagram, Jamie Oliver wrote: “Nico was amazing a trailblazer and a pioneer in the restaurant industry.”
Also taking to Instagram, chef Steve Drake posted an image of himself holding a plaque from Ladenis’ Nico at Ninety restaurant with the caption: “The good old days, Nico Ladenis incredible chef and mentor. I have a lot to thank him for.”
Writing on X - the social media platform previously know as Twitter - James Martin said: “RIP Nico Ladenis, one of the few true greats of the UK food scene.”
Other industry figures to pay their respects to the chef on social media include Nigella Lawson, Andy Hayler and Paul Flynn.
Born in Tanganyika - then a British overseas territory - into a Greek family, Ladenis’ first restaurant was Chez Nico in Dulwich.
In the late 1980s he opened Simply Nico in Pimlico and went on to open a strong of other ventures including Nico Central, Simply Nico and Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane.
In 1995, the latter was awarded three Michelin stars, but four years later Ladenis requested that Michelin exclude him from the Guide saying that he wanted to do something more casual and accessible.
A number of more casual restaurants followed including Incognico and Deca, which were passed on his two daughters upon his retirement from the industry in 2003, but have now both closed.