Italy chef says sorry for amatriciana garlic gaffe

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Carlo Cracco said he was just joking about including garlic in his amatriciana recipe. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
12:23 CET+01:00
One of Italy’s most celebrated chefs on Tuesday apologized for daring to suggest garlic could be added to the amatriciana‬ recipe, prompting strong criticism from the town which created the Italian pasta dish.

As a MasterChef Italia judge and winner of a constellation of Michelin stars, Carlo Cracco is celebrated for his culinary creations.

But the chef on Tuesday was forced to apologize over a “secret ingredient” remark he made to a female contestant on national television, which prompted the ire of one town hall in Italy.

“If it caused offense, I’m sorry,” Cracco told Il Messaggero, of the moment he claimed unpeeled garlic was the “secret ingredient” of his amatriciana‬.

“I think that everyone knows that the amatriciana recipe does not include garlic. I repeat, it was a joke. I only wanted to make the woman laugh and play a little,” he said of his TV appearance on Saturday.

Cracco’s apology comes two days after staff at Amatrice town hall - where the delicious dish hails from - declared they were “disconcerted” by the chef’s statement.

“We are certain that it was a ‘slip of the tongue’ by the famous chef, seeing his professional history and also his capacity to play along,” town hall staff wrote on the Amatrice Facebook page.

The public servants also took the opportunity to refresh readers’ memories of the “only ingredients that a real amatriciana is composed of”: hog jowl, pecorino cheese, white wine, tomatoes from San Marzano, pepper and chilli.

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No doubt Cracco’s bastardized version of the sauce would be “delicious”, but it can’t be called an amatriciana. “The town hall of Amatrice would be happy to host the chef Carlo Cracco in the places where the most famous pasta dish in the world originates from,” the note concluded.

SEE ALSO: Carlo Cracco - From aspiring priest to Hell’s Kitchen host

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