Restaurateur Russell Norman dies aged 57

Image source: Curtis Brown

Russell Norman, the award-winning restaurateur widely credited for revolutionising London's restaurant scene, has passed away at the age of 57. 

Reports state that Norman, who co-founded the restaurant brand Polpo, died of cardiac arrest in hospital on Thursday 23 November, just weeks after the publication of his fourth cookbook, Brutto, also the name of his latest restaurant in Farringdon. 

Richard Beatty, Norman's friend and business partner, issued a statement saying: "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."

Norman was best known for founding the Polpo restaurant chain, which was followed by the Spuntino and Polpetto spin-off brands. He is credited with bringing the small plate concept of eating out to the capital, which revolutionised London's hospitality landscape, as well as for bringing the Negroni cocktail back to the mainstream. 

Norman shot to fame in 2012 after his debut cookbook, Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts), was named Waterstones' Book of the Year. 

He was in the spotlight again two years later for presenting The Restaurant Man – a six-part documentary broadcast on BBC Two. 

"So sorry to hear of the death, far too young, of Russell Norman," wrote food critic Jay Rayner in a tribute to the chef. "He was one of the most gifted restaurateurs, a terrific writer and an awful lot of fun to be around. He very much lived life in his own way. My thoughts are with his family and friends."

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