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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Maddy Mussen

Pioneering restaurateur Russell Norman dies aged 57 following cardiac arrest

Pioneering restaurateur Russell Norman has died aged 57 following a cardiac arrest.

Norman, who was best known for starting the Polpo chain of restaurants, as well as spin-offs Spuntino and Polpetto, made waves in the London restaurant scene by inventing the concept of small plates, as well as re-popularising the classic Negroni.

Hailed as the "new king of Soho dining" in 2012, the Hounslow-raised restaurateur quickly exploded onto the London restaurant space. He has published three successful cookbooks, the first of which, simply named "Polpo", sold 250,000 copies and won the Waterstones Book of the Year prize that year.

Russell Norman (Rebecca Reid)

Norman opened a new restaurant, Trattoria Brutto, a traditional Florentine-style trattoria in Farringdon, in 2021, and released a new cookbook, BRUTTO: A Simple Florentine Cookbook, just last month.

His business partner and friend Richard Beatty, a co-founder of Polpo and Spuntino, shared the news of Norman's death in a statement today.

"It is with the greatest sadness I announce the loss of my best friend Russell Norman. After a short battle in hospital, he died surrounded by family and friends. Russell is survived by his wife and three children, and I ask that you respect the privacy of his family, friends and colleagues at this time."

Brutto in Farringdon (Paul Winch-Furness)

His death comes as a shock, during a time where Norman was set to enter a new stage of his career, alongside the success of Brutto and recent release of his latest cookbook.

Restaurant Magazine reports that Brutto will remain open under the custodianship of Norman's son, Ollie, and his wife, Jules.

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