Talented young chef with ‘world at his feet’ killed in fatal crash

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A talented chef was tragically killed in a Mother’s Day crash. 25-year-old Oliver Fitchett, known as Ollie, died when his blue Ford Focus was involved in a crash just before midnight on Sunday.

According to reports, he had been travelling back from celebrating Mother’s Day and had just dropped family members off before the fatal crash. It is understood his car crashed into the central reservation before a collision with a black Mercedes car.

Ollie was a rising star of the culinary world and had been working at prestigious Liverpool restaurant The Art School for two years under the watchful eye of Chef Patron Paul Askew, who today paid tribute to “a massively-loved guy with the world at his feet.”

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Paul said Ollie was a huge part of The Art School family, adding: “He was such a talented, joyous character. It wasn’t just his culinary talent and potential, he was also just an amazing part of the team in terms of his attitude, his humour, his likeability – he was just a lovely, lovely guy.”

Paul had been working with Ollie for a “wonderful” Mother’s Day shift at the restaurant on Sunday and had been joking with him just hours before the crash that tragically took his life.

“He had been with us all week and of course yesterday was Mothering Sunday and we had 100 covers of joy and it was a wonderful day, he did a great job and we sat at the end as we do and looked at what we needed for the next few days.

He said: “Ollie was sat in the office with me at 8pm last night talking about what we were going to do with the fish garnish and laughing together.

“He was getting all excited as he always did about new produce. Ollie was a proper foodie and an ambitious chef.”

Having worked as a sous-chef elsewhere, Ollie had worked his way up at The Art School and was in line for another promotion. Paul said: “He did all sorts with us, he did the Turner Prize, the Grand National, the G7 meet – he did some great stuff, he was well liked and well trusted. He started here as a demi chef de partie, then we promoted him and he was about to get promoted again because he was doing so well.”

“We had talked about putting him in the competitions and he was very keen to do that, he was keen to progress. If we hadn’t had a meeting or a chat in a little while he would come and knock on my door and ask how he was doing, he was very keen to push on and to progress his life. It was so lovely to see.”

Paul said the 25-year-old, who was in the process of organising his wedding, was a huge and positive character in The Art School team, adding: “He was massively loved and such a popular member of the team. He was just a positive force of energy every time he was in the kitchen. He was always there to support people and to put his arm around them. He was a proper bloke and a very talented chef. He came in every day and gave it his all and would carry others along if they needed it.”

Paul added: “Ollie was a massive part of our Arts School family and that family will feel a very grave loss. It’s a massive loss to us. Everyone will be on the floor. The news hit my like a tonne of bricks. I just couldn’t believe it, we are all just in utter shock. It hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest.”

“We’re just absolutely devastated for his family and his fiance, I can’t imagine what they are going through.”

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