Andrew Fairlie was more than a world-leading chef – leader comment

As a chef, Andrew Fairlie was among the best in the world. And, as a human being, he was pretty special too.

Chef Andrew Fairlie at the Gleneagles Hotel. Picture Robert Perry

Fellow chefs underlined his extraordinary contribution to Scottish cuisine. Tom Kitchin hailed him as a “real thinker”, while Nick Nairn said his legacy was “going to be enormous”. For Michel Roux, he was “fearless and brilliant”.

Among the tributes were also glowing testimonies to his character. Friend and journalist Stephen Jardine, writing in The Scotsman today, describes him as a “kind, generous and compassionate” man who always had time for aspiring young chefs who wanted to learn from him.

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Tributes paid to Andrew Fairlie after top chef dies

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it had been a “privilege to know him”, while Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser recalled debating Scottish independence with him, saying “we disagreed, courteously, and we parted on good terms”.

Businesswoman Michelle Mone said he was “one of the best chefs of our time, incredibly funny and just a great guy”.

At 55, he has gone too soon, but what a life.