Alan Crompton-Batt, PR doyen and creator of the celebrity chef, has died aged 50.
Responsible for launching chefs Nico Ladenis and Marco Pierre White, among others, Crompton-Batt succeeded in taking the chef out of the kitchen and putting him into the public consciousness. He is widely credited with launching the concept of restaurant PR.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Crompton-Batt had fingers in all the gastronomic pies across London. He represented Ladenis’ Chez Nico, Raymond Blanc’s Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Le Gavroche, where he discovered Marco Pierre White, the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood and Taittinger.
Known for his loud taste in suits and jewellry, his fearsome temper and hedonism, Crompton-Batt was also a gastronome, appreciating good food and good company. He was a popular figure in gastronomic circles.
‘Public relations isn’t Spy’s favourite industry,’ said The Daily Telegraph’s Spy, Charlie Methven, ‘which makes me all the sadder to have to announce the death of one of its really good guys.’
Crompton-Batt was born in Salisbury on 23 March 1954. He began his career as manager of a post-punk rock band, the Psychadelic Furs. He then worked for Egon Ronay and the Kennedy Brooks restaurant group before setting off on his own to become a restaurant PR in 1985.
Lately, Crompton-Batt moved away from the London scene to South Africa, where he died on Monday, of pneumonia.
Written by Oliver Styles