Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died with reports emerging that he suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday night.
The father-of-two died in hospital near his Byron Bay home following a long battle with alcohol addiction and multiple attempts at rehabilitation.
The Irish-born chef rose to fame when he was crowned UK’s Young Chef of the year at just 21-years-old.
In 1999, Simpson moved to Australia and was headhunted by Aqua Luna Bar where he became a stakeholder and head chef.
After training in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world, Simpson enjoyed a rise to TV fame with regular appearances on Seven’s Sunrise, Ready Steady Cook and perhaps his most notable role, The Best on the FOOD channel.
Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs were among the first to pay tribute to their beloved friend.
“Such sad news to hear of my former colleague Darren Simpson passing away today. RIP Dazza,” Chef and presenter Andrew Ballard Tweeted
“I hope I wake up tomorrow and this is a dream... I know the last few weeks have been hell for you. You will never be forgotten. love you xxxx,” friend and journalist Shonagh Walker wrote.
Devastating news to hear of the passing of my friend, mentor & an amazing chef Darren Simpson who I have known... https://t.co/nVSSUHvAaR— Hashtag Chef (@hashtagchef) June 22, 2017
R.I.P Darren Simpson you will be missed chef loved working with you.— Adam Moore (@Chef_AdamMoore) June 22, 2017