James Packer heads straight to Crown Casino after arriving back in Australia. Picture: 7News
James Packer heads straight to Crown Casino after arriving back in Australia. Picture: 7News

Packer jets in after shock death of former chef

BILLIONAIRE James Packer has jetted back into Australia for a stay at Crown Casino.

The reason for his visit - his first in a year - has not been confirmed but it could be for the funeral of his long-time personal chef Justin Bull, who was found dead at his Sydney cafe on Friday.

The businessman was seen at his Southbank hotel yesterday after arriving in his private jet.

Mr Packer has scaled down his commitments, resigning as a director of his company in March last year because of health reasons, and has been spending time at his property in Argentina.

Mr Bull, 46, was a former personal chef to Mr Packer and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, before opening Huxton's on Macpherson St, Bronte two years ago.

During his years working for Packer, Bull was booked to work six-weeks-on-six-off for the billionaire.

He would fly to the billionaire's Argentina compound first, and then afterwards, on to Europe, at Packer's side - long taxing stretches as the casino boss's private chef, friend and confidante.

The well-known and well-liked foodie was also team chef for the NSW Blues State of Origin team in 2018 following an introduction from NRL legend Andrew Johns.

Bull's passing is the most recent in a string of deaths which have occurred within the Sydney chef community.

Celebrity chef Jeremy Strode died in July 2017 and Darren Simpson passed away a month earlier after a long battle with alcohol and addiction-related illness.

Celebrity chef Justin Bull was found dead at his Huxton's cafe in Bronte on Friday.
Celebrity chef Justin Bull was found dead at his Huxton's cafe in Bronte on Friday.

 

Last year American chef Anthony Bourdain took his own life in an hotel near Strasbourg in France.

High profile chef Colin Fassnidge, best known from My Kitchen Rules, said while he did not know Bull closely, he had deeply saddened by the news.

"It just keeps going on and on, it's like every week now, it's like an avalanche," Fassnidge said.

"And they are all a similar age, with families and kids. It is shocking and distressing

Police have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances in Bull's death.

 

Mr Packer in Melbourne yesterday. Picture: 7News
Mr Packer in Melbourne yesterday. Picture: 7News

 

Friends of Justin Bull on Friday.
Friends of Justin Bull on Friday.

 

 

 

A friends of chef Justin Bull outside his cafe. Picture: Tracey Nearmy
A friends of chef Justin Bull outside his cafe. Picture: Tracey Nearmy

Bull leaves behind his wife of 14 years, Justine, and a six-year-old son.

The businessman was seen at his Southbank hotel yesterday after arriving in his private jet.

Mr Packer has scaled down on his commitments, resigning as a director of his company in March last year because of health reasons.

He has been spending time at his property in Argentina.

*If you are experiencing depression or are suicidal, or know someone who is, help is available via Lifeline: 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636.*

 

 

Flowers at the cafe door at the weekend. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Flowers at the cafe door at the weekend. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images