The restaurateur and self-taught chef, who became known as the ‘godfather’ of avocado toast from when he began serving the now staple brunch dish in his venues in 1993, died peacefully in hospital on Christmas Day with his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Inès and Bunny, at his bedside in their adopted home of London, an announcement from the family said.
“He will be remembered as the ‘King of Breakfast’, for making unpretentious food into something special filled with sunshine and for spurring the growth of Australian informal and communal eating around the world. He will be deeply missed by all, with his loss most profoundly felt by his adored family, who are grateful for all the love and support that has been given,” the announcement said.
Reacting to the news on social media, Jamie Oliver described Granger as a “wonderful man, warm, charming, and had an extraordinary ease and style in cooking that could only come from Australia”.
Chef Jeremy Lee said of him: “Such a dear lovely man who brought so much sunshine and charm to food, cooking and restaurants.”
Born in Melbourne, Granger was raised in the back of a butcher’s shop. After moving to Sydney to study art after his schooling, he worked as a waiter where his interest and love for food began.
He opened his first restaurant, bills, in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, which quickly became known for breakfasts. This was followed by two more restaurants in the city.
In 2008, bills went international with an opening in Japan, followed by his first London restaurant, Granger & Co, which opened in 2011, and his first site in Seoul in 2014.
A self-taught chef, speaking to Restaurant in 2015, Granger described himself as a 'well-meaning amateur'. “I don’t see myself as a chef," he said.
"I didn’t go to trade school and I’m almost entirely self taught. I’m a well-meaning amateur."
His portfolio sits at 19 restaurants, including five in London, two in Seoul, four in Sydney, and eight in Tokyo, Greater Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka.