Former Ritz chef Michel Quinn passes away

The Staff Canteen

Michael Quinn MBE, former head chef at The Ritz and founder of the Ark Foundation, sadly passed away this morning aged 71.

Following the news, chefs took to Twitter to express their condolences with their thoughts firmly with Michael's family at this difficult time.


Beginning his career in Leeds working as an apprentice, Michael was awarded the title of Top Apprentice Chef of Great Britain. A stint at Claridge's followed before heading up the kitchen at Gravetye Manor in Sussex where he received a star in the Michelin Guide. 

In 1980 Michael was head hunted by The Ritz becoming the first British chef to hold the position of head chef within the five star hotel's 74 year old history which led the chef to become known as 'Mighty Quinn'.

He was later awarded an MBE before the chef suffered numerous set backs which involved a drinking problem and led to Michael becoming homeless. However, after battling his demons Michael made a full recovery and established the charitable Ark Foundation, now part of Hospitality Action (HA), to raise awareness of alcohol and drug abuse in catering colleges in the United Kingdom.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th August 2017

Former Ritz chef Michel Quinn passes away