ENTERTAINMENT
23/04/2018 15:20 BST | Updated 23/04/2018 15:54 BST

Matt Campbell Dead: 'Masterchef: The Professionals' Judge Marcus Wareing Leads Tributes To 'Talented And Innovative' Chef

The former contestant died after collapsing during the London Marathon.

‘Masterchef: The Professionals’ judge Marcus Wareing has led the tributes to former contestant Matt Campbell, following news of his death

The 29-year-old chef passed away after collapsing during Sunday’s (22 April) London Marathon. 

BBC
Matt Campbell died after taking part in the London Marathon

Taking to Twitter after news of his death was announced, Marcus hailed Matt as a “talented, innovative and driven chef”.

He wrote: “It is with huge sadness that I received the news of Matt Campbell’s untimely death earlier today. He was a talented, innovative and driven chef with a bright future ahead of him.

“My thoughts are with his friends & family at this tragic time.”

Journalist and restaurant critic Grace Dent was one of the first to pay tribute to Matt on Instagram, writing: “Brilliant, clever, funny, talented as hell Matt. It is unfathomable.”

Grace had been singing the Matt’s praises in her Observer food column on Sunday, praising his vegan creation on last year’s ‘Masterchef: The Professionals’. 

She wrote: “When I sit on that table of gargoyles on ‘MasterChef’ waiting to judge whoever comes through the door, I’m simply not that impressed by another plate of barely dead roe deer avec pommes noisettes all lying in a puddle of Bambi’s blood. So when on a recent ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ Matt Campbell served Gregg Wallace a raw, vegan cacao delice encased in a jerusalem artichoke rosti tuile, I knew this was a chef with a certain level of swagger.

“Chefs such as Campbell are brave and exciting to me because to even pepper a menu with the term ‘vegan’ is to bang up against decades of culinary prejudice.”

A post shared by Grace Dent (@gracedent) on

Food critic Jay Rayner also paid tribute to Matt, tweeting: “Awful news. I presented Matt with an award for outstanding achievement at last month’s Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards. He was clever and, as my colleague @gracedent said in @obsefood only yesterday, hugely creative and innovative. My thoughts are with his family.”

Chef Dean Edwards and presenter Charlie Webster, who also ran Sunday’s marathon, were among others who paid tribute: 

‘Masterchef’ bosses have also issued an official statement on Matt’s death, calling it a “privilege” to have him on the show during last year’s series. 

A spokesperson said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear the news about Matt Campbell, one of our talented contestants from last year.

“It was a privilege to have him on the show. He will always be remembered for producing for some of the most innovative and groundbreaking food that we saw on the series.

“From the whole ‘Masterchef’ team, our sincere condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Matt collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark during the marathon, and although he received immediate medical attention at the scene from race doctors, he died later at hospital.

He had been running to raise funds for The Brathay Trust and in memory of his father, Martin, who died in the summer of 2016.

You can make a donation to The Brathay Trust on Matt’s JustGiving page here.

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