Australia mourns the loss of a culinary icon, Bill Granger, celebrated as the ‘King of Breakfast’ and the visionary behind the global phenomenon of avocado toast. Granger, a self-taught chef from Melbourne, passed away at the age of 54 in a London hospital on Christmas Day, surrounded by his wife, Natalie Elliott, and their three daughters.
Granger’s journey began in 1993 when, at the age of 23, he dropped out of art school and opened his first restaurant, “bills,” in Sydney. This sunny corner cafe quickly became renowned for its unpretentious yet innovative dishes, including the now-famous avocado toast, ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter, and top-quality coffee.
His impact on the culinary scene was monumental. Darren Robertson, an Australian chef, noted that Granger had “changed the entire breakfast game,” while Adam Liaw, a Masterchef Australia alumnus, hailed him as “arguably the most influential pioneer of modern Australian food.”
Granger’s culinary empire extended globally, with cafes in Japan, Korea, and London, where he established the popular chain Granger & Co. The distinct style of Australian breakfast and brunch that he pioneered earned him the title of the ‘godfather’ of avocado toast.
In January, Granger received the Medal of the Order of Australia, one of the country’s top honors, recognizing his significant contributions to tourism and hospitality.
Tributes poured in from celebrities and fellow chefs, underscoring Granger’s warmth, kindness, and his profound impact on the culinary world. Nigella Lawson expressed being “heartbroken,” and Jamie Oliver described Granger as a “wonderful human” with an “extraordinary ease and style in cooking.”
Granger’s family, in a statement on social media, remembered him as the ‘King of Breakfast,’ who turned unpretentious food into something special filled with sunshine. As Australia and the world grieve the loss of this culinary luminary, his legacy lives on through the countless people he inspired with his innovative and sunny approach to food.