Paul Kitching, chef patron of 21212 in Edinburgh, has passed away

The Staff Canteen

Paul Kitching, chef patron of 21212 has sadly passed away. In a message sent to the restaurant's mailing list, his partner Katie O'Brian confirmed his death saying it was a 'total shock'.

In the message she wrote: "Dear friends, It is with heavy heart that I write to let you know that I've lost my love - Paul - who sadly passed away yesterday.

"The death has come as a total shock to us at 21212 and we are trying to come to terms with the passing of a legend within our industry. Paul was an inspirational figure to everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him or working with him and we are all devastated." 

Tributes are already pouring in for the 'industry one in a million and genius' from those who worked with and for him over the years, as well anyone else who had the pleasure of meeting him.

Mark Poynton who worked with Paul at Juniper posted: "What a man, absolutely heart broken is an understatement, had an amazing time learning from Paul at Juniper."

Steven Doherty tweeted: "Another great lost."

Commenting on instagram, Michael O'Hare said: "My sincere and heartfelt condolences. A true Avant-garde and free thinker. What a guy x"


About Paul Kitching

Paul Kitching was chef patron of 21212 Restaurant in Edinburgh. He started as a kitchen porter in a Latin American restaurant in Newcastle before moving to York as a commis chef and realising he had a passion for classical cooking. He moved into Michelin kitchens in his early twenties including Restaurant 74 and Gidleigh Park before achieving his own star with his first restaurant Juniper. He opened 21212 in 2009  with his partner Katie O'Brian and gained a Michelin star after just 6 months. Unfortunately the restaurant lost its star in the 2020 guide.

He spoke to The Staff Canteen in 2016 and when asked why he came in to the hospitality industry, he said: "The cold and unemployment! I left school and I was unemployed then I worked on a building site as a labourer in Newcastle until I was let go. It was a cold winter and I got a job from the job centre as a kitchen assistant and I was thinking ‘I’m going to be a chef!’

"I thought I’ll keep nice and warm, make some bread and eat what I want. I was 18 and the appeal stayed from there but I didn’t want to be a chef and I didn’t think about it seriously for another three or four years.

"I liked the modernism of a professional kitchen, the stainless steel, the design – more so than the food really. I didn’t think ‘I’m here to learn to cook’, I enjoyed the experience of being part of a machine."

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th December 2022

Paul Kitching, chef patron of 21212 in Edinburgh, has passed away