Granger is credited with popularising Australian brunch and café culture around the world and was frequently referred to as the ‘godfather of avocado and toast’ during a career spanning 30 years
William Granger, born 29 August 1969; died 25 December 2023 | Photo credit: Mikkel Vang
Figures from across the global hospitality industry have paid tribute to Australian chef, entrepreneur and author Bill Granger, who passed away on Christmas Day aged 54.
He ‘died peacefully in hospital’ surrounded by his family, they said in a statement.
Granger founded his eponymous casual dining concept bills in 1993 at the age of just 23 after dropping out of art school. From a single restaurant in Sydney, Granger opened international sites in Tokyo and Seoul, later launching Granger and Co. in London in 2011.
He is widely credited with the popularisation of avocado toast and Aussie-style brunch around the world, as well as introducing his informal, quality-driven approach to a new generation of diners. A 2016 article in The Telegraph described Granger as the ‘king of breakfasts’
, which became a lasting moniker.
In 2018 The New Yorker
described Granger as ‘the restaurateur most responsible for the Australian café’s global reach.’
In 2000, Granger embarked on a successful writing career with his first cookbook, Sydney Food
. Thirteen subsequent titles, including Open Kitchen
, Feed Me Now
and Australian Food
sold over a million copies around the world. He also made five TV series and was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2023.
Paying tribute to Granger on LinkedIn, Bluestone Lane founder Nicholas Stone wrote: “Bill has left an indelible mark on the world’s culinary scene as the founder of healthy, sophisticated Australian-style breakfast cuisine… Without Bill Granger it's doubtful there would be Bluestone Lane.”
“His talent, his joie de vivre
, the way he brought people together, and his commitment to family were inspiring,” said Australian actor Hugh Jackman.
“A wonderful human, kind, calm soul… I admired everything he represented in food,” wrote British chef Jamie Oliver on Instagram.
Speaking to the BBC in 2019, Granger reflected on the humble beginnings of his breakfast empire, saying: “I've done all these extraordinary things, just from liking to cook pancakes and scrambled eggs, which is pretty amazing.”
Granger is survived by his wife Natalie Elliott and three daughters, Edie, Inès and Bunny.