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'Godfather' of Italian cooking, Antonio Carluccio, dead at 80

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'Godfather' of Italian cooking, Antonio Carluccio, dead at 80
Antonio Carluccio with Prince Charles in 2015. Photo: Greg Wood/Pool/AFP
17:48 CET+01:00
The man who helped bring Italian home cooking to Britain, Antonio Carluccio, has died at the age of 80.

The chef and restauranteur passed away on Wednesday morning, his website announced.

Carluccio was born in Vietri Sul Mare, near Salerno, but grew up in the north-west of Italy.

He attributed his life-long love of fresh ingredients – and especially mushrooms – to foraging in the hills of Piedmont as a child.

“My first memory is of my mamma cooking,” Carluccio told The Guardian in 2012. 

“We were living above the railway station in Castelnuovo Belbo where papa was station master, and mamma would send me downstairs to see when the last train before lunch was coming, then within five minutes – just before papa sat down – she'd cook fresh pasta.”

 

I've always had a thirst for knowledge. Here I am aged eleven happily ensconced in my books. #8daysinthelifeofantonio

A post shared by Antonio Carluccio (@cookcarluccio) on

As an adult Carluccio moved to Austria and Germany before settling in the UK, where he used his knowledge of Italian food culture to establish himself as a restaurateur, author and TV personality.

His eponymous chain of Italian restaurants and delis has more than 80 locations in the UK, as well as franchises in Ireland and the Middle East.

He authored more than 20 cookbooks and made multiple TV shows, all dedicated to teaching Brits how to cook and eat like Italians.

“In Italy teenagers go home for dinner – it's where they can discuss their problems,” he said. “This is something often missing in Britain.

"Most of my happiest memories are at table.”

In 1998 Italy awarded Carluccio the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana, its highest honour, for his services to the Italian food industry. He also received an Order of the British Empire in 2007. 

 

A post shared by Antonio Carluccio (@cookcarluccio) on

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