The highly regarded food critic Charles Campion has died, aged 69.
Campion’s daughter Ashley confirmed the news saying that her father had passed away on the 23rd December 2020. It is not yet known what the cause of death is.
Making the announcement, Ashley wrote a touching tribute on Twitter which read, “Sadly my father Charles Campion passed away on the 23rd December 2020. He was a brilliant father, friend and husband. Everyone who came into contact with him came away a little better for it. Love you Dad!”
Campion initially worked in advertising before opening a hotel and restaurant (where he worked as the head chef) with his wife. Despite this varied early career Campion eventually found fame when he took up writing food features and reviews for The Times, The Independent and The Weekend Telegraph, as well as contributing to publications such as BBC Good Food and Delicious magazine. The critic’s most high-profile gig however was judging the dishes of hopeful contestants on MasterChef, which he did for many years.
Leading food media names – including Campion’s MasterChef colleagues – added their own tributes across social media. Fellow critic Jay Rayner said Campion was a “great and lovely man, with a brilliantly droll sense of humour,” while former reviewer for The Independent Tracey MacLeod described him as one of “the most knowledgeable, courtly and clear-eyed of colleagues around.”
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Elsewhere celebrity chefs added to the praise of Campion, with Michel Roux Jr tweeting that the news was “very sad indeed”, continuing to write that “his knowledge was as wide as his smile” and that it was an “honour to have cooked for him.” Fans across social media shared their sadness at his passion, saying he was “a truly lovely man” and “a giant among men”
In his lifetime Campion wrote several books, which included seven editions of the Rough Guide to London Restaurants, publications he penned between 1999 and 2005.
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Main image: @Traceyamacleod on Twitter