The ‘Godfather of Italian cooking’, TV chef Antonio Carluccio, has died aged 80, his agent has revealed.
The Italian cook, who has a chain of restaurants bearing his name, was also known as a mentor to Jamie Oliver. He also appeared on a number of TV programmes, including Two Greedy Italians, in which he starred alongside chef Gennaro Contaldo.
Edinburgh chef Mark Greenaway wrote on Twitter: “R.I.P to @CookCarluccio, an inspiration to so many.”
A spokesman for the Carluccio’s restaurant chain said: “We are incredibly saddened by the news that Antonio Carluccio, our founder, passed away on Wednesday.
“It isn’t just Antonio’s name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants. He was regarded as the Godfather of Italian cooking. Antonio has been a huge inspiration to many of us and his energy, zest for life and sense of humour will be greatly missed.”
Carluccio moved from the rural North West of Italy to London via Germany shortly after the death of his youngest brother in an accident, aged 23, where he began his food career.
He was appointed Commendatore by the Italian Government in 1998 for services rendered to Italy, the equivalent of a British knighthood. He also received an OBE from The Queen in 2007 for services to the catering industry.
In 1991, Antonio and his then wife opened an Italian food shop, named Carluccio’s, which expanded into a restaurant eight years later. The chain was sold to Dubai investors in 2010, although Carluccio himself regularly worked as an advisor.