Restaurant 21212 is closing after death of chef Paul Kitching

Edinburgh restaurant 21212 is closing on April 1 after death of Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching in December, his partner reveals

  • Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching died aged 61 in December 2022
  • His Edinburgh restaurant held a Michelin star between 2009-2019

Top restaurant 21212 will close next month after the death of Michelin starred chef Paul Kitching at the end of last year.

The Edinburgh fine dining restaurant opened in 2009 and was run by Mr Kitching with his partner Katie O’Brien.

Mr Kitching died in December, aged 61, and the restaurant will close its doors for good on Saturday, April 1.

21212 said the whole team had been ‘devastated’ by Mr Kitching’s passing and since then the passion at the restaurant was ‘not as evident’ – which they said was ‘unacceptable to his memory’.

Since its opening, 21212 collected a number of awards – including best new restaurant in the UK, a Michelin star between 2009-2019, and four AA rosettes.

Paul Kitching, a Michelin-starred chef, died aged 61 in December and now his Edinburgh restaurant 21212 will close next month 

In 2009 the talented chef set up 21212 (pictured) in Edinburgh with his partner Katie, which also went on to be awarded a Michelin star

In a message to customers, Katie said: ‘It is with great sadness that we have unfortunately taken the decision to close the restaurant at 21212.

Read more: ‘A wonderful man and incredible cook’: Tom Kerridge leads tributes to Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching as ‘true maverick’ dies aged 61 

‘Our last day of service will be Saturday 1 April 2023.

‘The passing of Paul has devastated all the team, and the passion that runs through every fibre of the restaurant is not as evident as when it was when he was alive – to us that is unacceptable to his memory.’

Katie said it had been a ‘whirlwind journey’.

She added: ‘From the bottom of all our hearts we can’t thank you enough for your support over the years – we hope you have lasting memories from your times spent with us in Edinburgh that you will cherish forever, we certainly do.’

The restaurant said it will contact any customers with reservations after the date of closing.

The four bedrooms which the restaurant offers for stays will continue to be available.

The Michelin Guide itself said: ‘Paul Kitching was kind, clever, hugely talented and infectiously enthusiastic. 

In a moving statement posted on his Edinburgh restaurant 21212’s social media platforms on Thursday, Kitching’s partner, Katie O’Brien (pictured together) wrote: ‘My love has gone. But what a love x’

Paul was highly acclaimed within the industry and also known for his friendly, cheerful nature

Mr Kitching was also awarded the Prince Philip medal for services to the catering industry.

Restaurant critic Jay Rayner described him as ‘quietly one of Britain’s greatest chefs’.

‘He was also a true maverick and his passion and creativity were evident in every dish he created. Our heartfelt sympathies go to Katie and all his family.’

Raised in Gateshed, Paul’s career began in a Latin American restaurant in Newcastle, where he worked as a pot wash.

He later moved moved to York, where he discovered his passion for cooking.

He launched Juniper restaurant in Manchester and was awarded a Michelin star in 1997, which he retained for 11 years.

Reflecting on his first Michelin restaurant, he said: ‘The food was pure Marco Pierre White inspired, it had a little bit of me in it but it was influenced by his style.

‘By the time we closed it everything from when we opened, as in the Marco food style, was gone. It had become a mirror image of who I thought I was.’

Paul was also awarded the Prince Philip medal for services to the catering industry.

He’d been in the service industry for 35 years, and prior to working in restaurants, he had brief stints as a baker and a labourer.

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