Acclaimed TV chef, cookbook writer and restaurateur Robert Carrier has died aged 82.
Like Elizabeth David, Carrier did much to encourage the British public to broaden its approach to food after the enforced austerity of the postwar years. His love of good food and enthusiastic endorsement of the joys of entertaining profoundly influenced a generation of home cooks and provided a template for today’s generation of food writers and broadcasters.
An American by birth, Carrier moved to Europe shortly after the end of World War II. He began to make his name as a food writer in the 1950s with his work for magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and eventually became responsible for the recipe pages in the Sunday Times magazine.
Within a few years of his arrival in the UK, he had opened his first restaurant, Carrier’s, in Islington’s Camden Passage, before going on to launch the far-grander Hinttlesham Hall in Suffolk in the early 1970s.
It was during this period that he became the chairman of the Restaurateur’s Association of Great Britain – a post he used to advocate liberalisation of the UK’s licensing laws.
Carrier published more than 20 cookbooks, including the iconic Great Dishes of the World, which sold more than 10m copies and became a cookery bible for many, as well as A Taste of Morocco, Food, Wine & Friends, Cooking with Carrier, and Feasts of Provence.
His theatrical nature made him a natural on TV, and Carrier become one of the first celebrity chefs. His first series, Carrier’s Kitchen, went to air in the 1970s and he remained a TV favourite for over 20 years. In addition, he owned a chain of cookware shops and a PR company that promoted vegetarian dog food.
Carrier was taken to hospital near his home in the South of France on Tuesday morning after a brief illness, and died soon after his arrival.
Written by Natasha Hughes