Known as a great Italian chef, restaurateur, and food expert, Antonio Carluccio died in November 2017 aged 80. People remember him by many television programmes and more than 20 books, all of which explored culinary life, interwoven with history and literature, and offered more details about the classic and regional dishes of Italy. He was and remains known as “the godfather of Italian gastronomy.” Carluccio had his Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, London.
Born to a father who was a stationmaster, from a family of bookbinders in Benevento, and a mother who had connections to the railways, Antonio was the fifth of six children the two had. At the age of 21, he moved to Vienna, then spent some time in Germany and Spain, and he wandered for some time before he finally discovered his great talent and started building a long and successful career in gastronomy. In 1981, he was set to be the manager of Neal Street Restaurant, and in 1989, he became its owner, and continued to run it until its closure in 2007.
It was then that he moved to the big screen and he turned more to writing books. Some of his earlier famous books include An Invitation to Italian Cooking (1986), A Passion for Mushrooms (1988), A Taste of Italy (1989), Passion for Pasta (1993), and Italian Feast (1996). He also wrote some books to accompany his television series and one-off programmes on the Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi.
Conran Design Group
In 1990, when his wife Priscilla left the Conran Design Group, they expanded their business and opened a delicatessen. It should be also mentioned that, some time afterwards, Antonio established a small chain of cafes and food stores, Carluccio’s Caffès. However, he eventually rejoined the enlarged company to be a consultant there.
In 1998, he was made a Commendatore of the Italian Order of Merit, and in 2007, he became an OBE. Some of his last books include Recipe for Life (2012), Antonio Carluccio: The Collection (2012), Antonio Carluccio’s Pasta (2014), and Antonio Carluccio Vegetables (2016).