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Tribute to Celebrity chef and prolific cookbook writer Antonio Carluccio

Written by Aksel Ritenis

If I could take only the basics of Italian Food with me to a desert island, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose hard grained flour, tomatoes, olive oil and parmesan cheese. If I could take some flavourings I would take some basil and garlic

ANTONIO CARLUCCIO – FOUNDER of Carluccio and Cook Book author extaordinaire dies aged 80!

Celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio, a prolific cookbook writer who helped popularise inexpensive “Cucian Italiana” as the founder of an eponymous restaurant chain, has died aged 80.

His death was announced on his Twitter account ,..run by the PR Company contracted to the  restaurant business, Carluccio’s,  and by his agent.

Regarded as a “Godfather” of Italian cooking, the TV personality had a career spanning back more than 50 years.

In 1999, the first “Carluccio’s Caffè” was opened in Market Place, London. A joint authentic Italian restaurant with integrated food shop, the premises opened to serve light, Italian-based breakfasts to diners. The chain expanded, initially across southeast England, and subsequently across the UK.

Today, Carluccio’s operates from over 80 UK locations. In addition the company has granted franchises over two territories: the first over Ireland with two locations open in Dublin; the second over six countries in the Middle East including three locations presently open in Dubai.

After ten years of development, Antonio rejoined the company as a consultant.

Carluccio, who was born and raised in Italy, and had restaurants in Britain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates bearing his name.

He moved with his father’s job when he was young and lived in Castelnuovo Belbo and Borgofranco d’Ivrea. Living in the northwest, an area with great vegetation, as a child he would hunt through the forest for different mushrooms and fungi with his father. After leaving school he did his compulsory one year of military service in the Italian Navy. After leaving the navy, he briefly worked as a journalist with La Stampa in Turin and then as a technician and sales representative for typewriter manufacturer Olivetti.”

He also lived and worked asa Wine merchant in Germany for many years prior to his arrival in the UK,.. and was a very accomplished Gourmet and Wine Connoisseur  having dined in thousands of restaurants whilst selling wine before arriving in the UK in 1975 and embarking on his Restaurant and Cookbook Celebrity career.

“Antonio built Carluccio’s from one restaurant to the fantastic brand it is today,” the restaurant company said in a statement.

Carluccio first came to prominence in Britain while running the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden in 1981, earning a number of accolades and hosting famous patrons who included Prince Charles and Elton John.

He also helped launch the career of chef Jamie Oliver by hiring him to work there.

He  appeared in several television shows and wrote 22 cookbooks.

Carluccio, who founded the British restaurant chain Carluccio’s in 1999, is well-known for his partnership with fellow chef Gennaro Contaldo and their BBC television series Two Greedy Italians.

In actual fact,… he co-founded what became the Carluccio’s chain in 1999 with the business and marketing contributions of his then wife Priscilla Conran,..who was sister of the successful Restaurant entrepreneur Sir Terence Conran.

He  remained involved as a Consultant after selling his interest in the business.

He wrote more than a dozen books and published his memoirs in 2012, A Recipe for Life, which detailed a history of depression stemming from the death of his brother in 1960.

“Antonio built Carluccio’s from one restaurant to the fantastic brand it is today. It isn’t just Antonio’s name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants.”

Both the Italian and British governments honoured him for his work.

He received the Commendatore title from the Italian government in 1998.

Queen Elizabeth II made him an Officer of the Order of the British

According to The Independent,..He is reported to have died after a fall at his home.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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