Antonio Carluccio dead: Legendary chef and restaurateur passes away aged 80

Sergio Conner
November 8, 2017

Italian celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio died on Wednesday aged 80, his website said. He also appeared on a number of TV programmes, including Two Greedy Italians, in which he starred alongside chef Gennaro Contaldo.

"Antonio was a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, cook, restaurateur, food expert and TV personality", a statement from the Carluccio's restaurant chain said.

The son of a station master, he grew up in the countryside in Italy's northwestern Piedmont region.

From north-west Italy, Carluccio worked as a journalist in Turin before moving to Vienna and Germany, and finally London.

Antonio was also responsible for opening the famous Neal Street restaurant in Covent Garden, London, which is where Jamie Oliver began his professional career.

Carluccio was well known for his Italian restaurant chain, Carluccio's, which he founded in 1999.

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His motto was "MOF MOF": minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour.

It was especially hard for him to write as it dealt with the depression he had felt after the death of his brother in 1960 - which still tormented him decades later. He wrote that on one occasion he attempted to stab himself with scissors and then lied about the suicide attempt, saying he had been cut accidentally.

He was made a commendatore, the equivalent of a knighthood, in 1998 for services to his homeland.

He also received an OBE from The Queen in 2007 for services to the catering industry.

Having opened a branch of his restaurant Carluccio's in the city 2013, the chef has twice been guest of honour at Peterborough's Italian Festival, most recently in 2015 when he said: "I am very glad to be in Peterborough again, the bastion of Italianity".

"It isn't just Antonio's name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants", it added.

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