Chef Paul Rankin and wife separate
Published 13/07/2011 | 21:35
Celebrity chef Paul Rankin is to separate from his wife Jeanne, a family spokeswoman has said.
The 51-year-old Ready Steady Cook regular from Ballywalter, Co Down was the first chef in Northern Ireland to win a Michelin star with his famous restaurant Roscoff.
Canadian born Jeanne, 49, also became well known to television viewers when she appeared alongside Rankin in the cookery show that made their name, Gourmet Ireland, in the mid 1990s.
She gave up her own career as a professional chef over a decade ago when she broke her back falling from a horse. Years later she admitted the accident had left her addicted to prescription painkillers and she received treatment in rehab.
A mother of three, she went on to retrain as a yoga instructor and left the family cuisine business 18 months ago.
Rankin, who was born in Glasgow, has recently sold off much of his culinary empire of restaurants and cafes in Northern Ireland amid financial troubles.
Belfast's Cayenne, formerly Roscoff, is now his only restaurant.
The establishment hit the headlines for the wrong reasons earlier this year when it was awarded only one out of five in a new hygiene rating system.
The family spokeswoman said the end of the marriage, which has lasted more than 25 years, was amicable.
"Jeanne and Paul Rankin have... confirmed that they are to amicably separate and have requested privacy for their family during and at the conclusion of this process," she said.