The ‘Godfather of Italian cooking’, Antonio Carluccio, has died aged 80. The celebrity chef and restaurateur was known for his television appearances, particularly for his starring role on the BBC’s Two Greedy Italians with friend and fellow Italian chef, Gennaro Contaldo.
Born in 1937, Carluccio opened the first Carluccio’s Caffè in 1999 in London, with the aim of offering quality Italian food at accessible prices. The brand now operates more than 90 locations in the UK with additional venues across Turkey and the UAE. Carluccio also penned multiple cookbooks.
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Antonio Carluccio, our founder, passed away on Wednesday [8 November 2017],” reads a statement on the Carluccio’s website.
“It isn’t just Antonio’s name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants. Antonio has been a huge inspiration to many of us and his energy, zest for life and sense of humour will be greatly missed.”
In 1998 Carluccio was awarded the Commendatore for his contribution to the Italian food industry. He went on to receive an OBE in 2007 and an AA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Many prominent chefs and restaurateurs have paid respects to Carluccio, lead by Jamie Oliver, who began his career under the tutelage of Carluccio and Contaldo.
“With great sadness I’ve heard that Antonio Carluccio passed away this morning. He was my first London Boss at the Neal Street restaurant 25 years ago which was an institution,” Oliver wrote in an Instagram post. “He was an amazing food ambassador that will be sorely missed… Viva Antonio Carluccio.”
Australian chefs Matt Moran and Neil Perry also took to social media to post tributes.
Image: Italy Magazine