'Culinary world has just lost an absolute gentleman' with death of chef Scott Richardson
Well-known Invercargill chef Scott Richardson died on Sunday morning in Dunedin Hospital.
Graham Hawkes, the president of the New Zealand Chefs Association and a long-time friend of Richardson, said the news was a total shock.
"The culinary world has just lost an absolute gentleman. He was an amazing practitioner in every way; he was incredibly patient, knew his craft extremely well, and always made sure he over-delivered and never under-delivered.
It is understood Richardson went to Dunedin Hospital on Wednesday.
Hawkes said he spoke to him on Friday, when Richardson confirmed to him he had leukemia.
"He was full of beans when I spoke to him and was very confident they would be able to cure it and he would be back to normal soon."
News of Richardson's death became public after his father, John Richardson, posted on Facebook that he had died at 7.50am at Dunedin Hospital.
Many people took to Facebook to express their condolences about the man known in Invercargill for his work as a chef.
Born and raised on the West Coast in Greymouth, Scott Richardson spent many years at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) as a catering manager, and later worked at Southland Boys' High School as its catering and hospitality tutor.
Richardson also represented his trade as the NZ Chefs Association Otago-Southland branch executive member.
Hawkes said Richardson had left a huge legacy through his work with students.
"We were guilty of bringing him down to Invercargill from the West Coast in about 1987.
"He worked for us at the Homestead Restaurant in 1987 and then at Elmwood Gardens after that.
"I was working at SIT part time and they wanted a full time person, so I encouraged him to go for the job and SIT were lucky enough to get him.
"His legacy is the number of students who are in famous positions around the world . . . there's a huge number of talented chefs who owe their profession to Scott's ability to teach them from a young age.
"There wouldn't be a culinarian in New Zealand not having a sad moment tonight."