Australian chef Bill Granger dead at 54: Most popular breakfast, avocado on toast, recipe revealed

World renowned celebrity chef Bill Granger sadly passed away on Monday after a battle with cancer.

The 54-year-old Australian was known for being the “king of breakfast” and the “godfather of avocado toast”, a delicious staple found in cafes around the country.

Although the beloved Aussie brunch is an integral part of our identity, many believe it was Granger who truly pioneered the modern cafe scene that we all know today.

The Washington Post crowned Granger as being one of the first to introduce avocado toast as a breakfast item, with the “first recorded sighting” of the dish being at the original Darlinghurst bills cafe in 1993.

While he did not originally plan on bills being a breakfast spot, he was forced to create a morning menu to afford the rent when his trading hours were restricted to 7am to 4pm.

It was at this time that the chef decided to put avocado toast on the menu for the first time.

Granger explained the idea to put the creamy green fruit on a slice of toasted fresh bread was sparked by the fact it was something he often ate as a quick and easy meal.

“I know, it’s just a couple of ingredients, barely a recipe. Hospitality people always eat quickly, because they have so little time,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

“It’s immediately accessible, it’s fresh and it’s light. And it’s green.

“I grew up in Melbourne, and when I moved to Sydney, I was shocked by its morning life.

“People were on the beach, walking through the park, owning the day.

“It felt very Australian, very optimistic. I think avocado on toast is optimistic.”

In an original recipe published in his first cookbook Sydney Food, released in 2000, Granger shared his special recipe for a delicious avocado on toast.

The simple yet iconic dish features avocado with lime juice, olive oil and coriander leaves on toasted sourdough bread, topped with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

The celebrity chef previously said that he “felt silly” including the first credited recipe for avocado on toast in his cookbook.

“We had been selling it at the restaurant for years and I remember thinking this is so silly putting a recipe for avocado on toast in a book,” he said.

“So I jazzed it up a bit and put a bit of lime and coriander on it.”

Granger has been called “the egg master of Sydney” by the New York Times and has even been credited with making the humble scrambled eggs “sexy”.

The beloved restaurateur “died peacefully” aged 54 in a London hospital on Monday, with the shocking news of his death being shared by family on Instagram.

He is survived by his wife Natalie Elliot and their three daughters, Edie, 22, Inès, 20, and Bunny, 19.

It is understood the chef had been diagnosed with cancer several months ago.

“A dedicated husband and father, Bill died peacefully in hospital with his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Ines and Bunny at his bedside in their adopted home of London,” the post read.

“He will be deeply missed by all, with his loss most profoundly felt by his adored family, who are grateful for all the love and support that has been given.”

Granger began studying an arts degree in his younger days, before dropping out and opening his first restaurant at just 21 in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Darlinghurst in 1992.

A self-taught cook, he became a celebrated global restaurateur and food writer with a career spanning more than 30 years.

He and his wife Natalie began a professional partnership that launched the business globally. Together, they built a successful business that today has 19 restaurants across Sydney, London, Greater Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Seoul.

Granger authored 14 cookbooks, made five TV series, and was most recently honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2023.

His death sparked a flurry of heartfelt messages from famous chefs and celebrities, with Jamie Oliver paying tribute to Granger on his Instagram page.

“This is such sad news … I loved Bill Granger so much he was such a wonderful man, warm, charming, and had an extraordinary ease and style in cooking that could only come from Australia,” Oliver shared.

“Bless you Bill, so much love! What a guy, so much love to his family and friends.”

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