“It is with the greatest sadness I announce the loss of my best friend Russell Norman. After a short battle in hospital, he died surrounded by family and friends. Russell is survived by his wife and three children, and I ask that you respect the privacy of his family, friends and colleagues at this time”, says Richard Beatty, co-founder of POLPO and SPUNTINO.
Russell Norman was an author, restaurateur and broadcaster. He was the founder of the award-winning restaurant BRUTTO in London and co-founder of POLPO and SPUNTINO. His first cookbook POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts) won the inaugural Waterstones Book of the Year prize in 2012.
In 2014 he presented The Restaurant Man, a six-part prime-time documentary for BBC2, and his second book SPUNTINO - Comfort Food (New York Style) won the 2016 Guild of Food Writers Award for best food and travel book.
His third book, VENICE: Four Seasons of Home Cooking saw him return to the city of his original inspiration to immerse himself in the food culture of genuine Venetian residents.
He said of the experience: “I exiled myself in the world’s most beautiful city for over a year in order to learn to cook like a 90 year-old Venetian granny.”
He opened his fully-booked Trattoria BRUTTO in 2021 to universal acclaim and a long waiting list. The restaurant will remain open, now under the custodianship of his son Ollie and wife Jules.
His last book, published earlier this month, BRUTTO: A Simple Florentine Cookbook, charts the creation of the smash-hit trattoria of the same name.