The gastronomy world grieves with news of the passing of Andrew Fairlie, chef and owner of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. The Washington Post reports that, “after 14 years of successful operations and treatment, doctors told Mr. Fairlie last year that his brain cancer was terminal.” He was 55 years old.
Fairlie, a Perth native, was known for blending Scottish ingredients with classical French techniques. Born to a working class family, Fairlie grew up cooking alongside his father; he got his first job working in a local hotel at the age of 15. By the age of 20, he was the first winner of the Roux scholarship in France, sending him to cook under Michel Guérard at Les Prés d’Eugénie in Eugénie-les-Bains, France. Fairlie’s resumé also include working on the Royal Scotsman cruise, the Disneyland Hotel in Paris and the One Devonshire Gardens hotel in Glasgow. The restaurant received a Michelin star under his leadership.
Within a year of its opening in 2001, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles received its first Michelin star, and a second in 2006. “Scotland provides many of the superlative ingredients, with much of the fruit and veg coming from the kitchen’s own Victorian walled garden,” Michelin inspectors say of his two-Michelin-starred restaurant. “The confident French dishes are immeasurably satisfying.” Chef Fairlie was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005, continuing to work in the kitchen until last fall, when he handed over his whites to head chef Stevie McLaughlin.
Of his passing, Michelin states, "Andrew was one of the U.K.'s finest chefs and a fantastic ambassador for Scotland. His Influence will be widely felt for many years. All our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues."
Andrew Fairlie is survived by his father, Jim, his wife, Kate, as well as his daughters, Ilona and Leah.
Chefs around the world are mourning the loss as well, extending their condolences.
"RIP dear Andrew," says Clare Smyth. "A true gentleman and a great mentor to a generation of chefs. We have lost one of our finest...sad day."
Scotland has lost one of its best today in Andrew Fairlie.. Such sad news.. Our thoughts and condolences are with Kate, family and all the AF team... RIP chef x @ The Kitchin https://t.co/WM4RNTjJdI— Tom Kitchin (@TomKitchin) January 22, 2019
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To me, Andrew was like a son and to our scholars and judges, a brother. But death is never the end. Andrew knew we would always carry him with us and his precious legacy will endure. Michel Roux, O.B.E. (2 of 2) pic.twitter.com/MpQo5NYCWC— Michel Roux (@MichelRouxOBE) January 22, 2019