A LEGENDARY chef and restaurateur who mentored Marco Pierre White has died at the age of 89.
He had previously opened Chez Nico in Dulwich, south London, in 1973 – followed by Simply Nico in Pimlico 16 years later.
He only went into the dining trade aged 37 after previously working in the oil and gas industry.
He became the first self-taught chef in Britain to be awarded three Michelin stars, in 1995.
But he asked to hand them back four years later, citing his disillusion with the London restaurant scene while also battling prostate cancer.
He said at the time: “Working in a three-star restaurant is very restrictive and people do not want to eat very expensive food.
“You cannot fool around in the restaurant if you have three stars and I want to make it more relaxed.”
He posted on X/Twitter that Ladenis was “a true gastronomic leader of chefs that inspired a whole generation”.
And celebrity chef Tom Kerridge praised him as “a true culinary hero”.
Chez Nico became one of only seven UK restaurants to be given a maximum ten out of ten by the Good Food Guide.