Tributes pour in for celebrated Italian chef Antonio Carluccio
Often referred to as the “godfather” of Italian cooking, Carluccio’s culinary career spanned more than 50 years. In that time he co-founded UK restaurant chain Carluccio’s, wrote more than 20 books and starred in several TV programs.
He was appointed Commendatore by the Italian Government (the equivalent of a British knighthood) in 1998 and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 for services to the catering industry.
Carluccio’s agent announced the news via an online statement, citing his “rare and privileged breadth of culinary knowledge”.
“In 1999 Antonio co-founded Carluccio’s and it is his dedication and legacy which has made the restaurant group one of the UK’s most successful and well-known brand,” the statement read.
“He was a great man and will be remembered with love and affection.”
The restaurant group Carluccio’s paid their respects with a statement which read:
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Antonio Carluccio, our founder, passed away on Wednesday. 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. Antonio was an OBE, OMRI and a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, cook, restaurateur, food expert and TV personality. 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 has also been credited with launching the career of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, after hiring him to work at the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden.
“He was my first London Boss at the Neal Street restaurant 25 years ago which was an institution and Mecca of wild mushrooms where I had the pleasure of working for him,” Oliver said via an Instagram post.
“He was an amazing food ambassador that will be sorely missed. My love goes out to his partner Sabina his family and his dear and close friends on this very sad day.”