Quentin Crewe was born in 1926. He suffered from muscular dystrophy and a doctor told his mother when he was six that he would die sometime between the ages of 16 and 25. She never mentioned it to him. Born into a certain background, he was a rebel and free spirit and determined his disability - and his wheelchair - were going to have no impact on his passion for adventure and for life. He was sacked from Eton and sent down from Cambridge. He lived mainly in England but also all over the world at various times - Italy, Japan, Kenya, Uganda, France. He was only the fourth European to cross the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia, in 1967. Apart from a ten year period as a farmer in Staffordshire, he was a writer and journalist all his life, contributing regularly to newspapers and magazines. He became a restaurant critic quite by chance whilst working at Queen Magazine in the 1950s and it could be said he completely revolutionised restaurant criticism. Before he began, no one was ever rude about a restaurant and no one described anything other than the food. It is hard to imagine today. But he was the first to be withering about a chef's efforts, and to take on board the whole experience of going to a restaurant, which he regarded as a theatre, and so described the waiters, the fellow diners, the decor, which had never been done before. Soon, he had the power to fill - or close - a restaurant overnight. In 1978 his classic The Great Chefs of France (about the 13 Michelin three star restaurants outside Paris at the time). In 1982 he crossed the Sahara and was blown up by a land mine. His book In Search of the Sahara was published, followed The Last Maharaja, Touch the Happy Isles, and In the Realms of Gold followed, among others, including his memoir, Well, I Forget the Rest. He married three times and had five children by his different wives. He died on his 72nd birthday, in November 1998, proving with a certain relish that the Harley Street physician who had examined him with creepily soft hands back in 1932 to have been a charlatan.