The chef, writer and broadcaster Paolo Tullio has died, his agent confirmed this evening.
Known to Irish audiences as a resident critic on RTÉ's The Restaurant, and a regular contributor to Moncrieff on Newstalk, he first moved to Ireland in 1968 as a Trinity student. Almost a decade later, in 1977, he bought Armstrong's Barn in Wicklow and converted it into a hugely successful venture – winning multiple awards along the way.
A hugely popular character within the Irish media, he was one of the Irish Independent's most prominent restaurant reviewers for nearly two decades, and was also a regular contributor to Food and Wine magazine.
It's with great sadness that I heard of Paolo Tullio's death today.
I am missing a great friend, full of kindness and with only positive things to say of others. The world is missing an incredible Chef and culinary expert. He was one of life's true gentlemen, a word overused but not in this case as Paolo was a gentleman to the core.
Suffice to say, all of us at Lovin Dublin are saddened at the loss of one of the leading lights in Irish food – a man who opened up whole new worlds to Irish diners, both as a chef and as a journalist, and managed to become one of the most popular and widely loved people in the industry while doing so.
It isn't easy to shake up an entire scene like that while making friends out of pretty much everyone you meet, but somehow Paolo managed it. He'll be referred to as a 'true gentleman' a lot over the coming days, but let it be known that not one word of that will be empty eulogising – it will be a testament to a man who was, quite simply, a true gentleman.