Tributes have been paid following the death of chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio, who has passed way at the age of 80. A statement from Carluccio’s agent said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE sadly passed away this morning.”
Carluccio opened his first UK restaurant in 1981, the Neal Street restaurant in London’s Covent Garden.
The Italian chef and restaurateur was highly respected in the industry, and worked more than 50 years in foodservice where his culinary skills crossed over into numerous recipe books and TV appearances, particularly in the BBC series, Two Greedy Italians.
In 1999, he opened his first ‘Carluccio’s Caffe’ in London which in the 18 years since has expanded into a chain of 80 restaurants across the UK, Ireland and Middle East.
Paying tribute on Instagram Jamie Oliver said :“He was such a charismatic charming don of all things Italian. Always hanging out the front door of the restaurant with a big fat Cigar a glass of something splendid and his amazing fuzzy white hair…. he was an amazing food ambassador that will be sorely missed,” wrote.
Brian Turner also paid tribute “sad to hear the loss of a wonderful friend today. I will miss you, thanks for your wonderful sense of humour”
Carluccio’s former colleague and co-star on Two Greedy Italians, Gennaro Contaldo, posted: “I am so so sad at the loss of my dear friend Antonio. Over the years, we had good times, bad times, we cried, we laughed, we argued, we joked.
“Will miss him so much – our chats, our arguments and banter. He was like my big brother. RIP Antonio.”