We were sad to report yesterday on the tragic passing of famed Italian chef Antonio Carluccio.
And now Jamie Oliver – who worked for Antonio as an up-and-coming chef – has written an emotional tribute to the man known as the “Godfather of Italian cooking”
Describing him as a “charismatic charming don of all things Italian,” Jamie reminisced about his time working at the Neal Street restaurant in the 1990s.
He also posted a picture from Antonio’s book dedicated to pasta, which Jamie credits with igniting his love for the Italian staple.
Jamie’s tribute also said: “I also had the pleasure of making and producing his TV show the “Two Greedy Italians“ with his life long best friend and partner in crime @gennarocontaldo who were hilarious together!! he was an amazing food ambassador that will be sorely missed.”
The 80-year-old was the founder of the popular high street chain of restaurants, whose distinctive blue awnings are recognisable in cities all over the country.
Antonio’s life as a restaurateur began in 1999, and his career in cookery spanned over five decades.
A statement from his agent said yesterday: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE sadly passed away this morning.”
Antonio also published more than a dozen books on the art of cooking, as well as a heart-rending memoir, published in 2012.
Antonio was also responsible for opening the famous Neal Street restaurant in Covent Garden, London, which is where Jamie Oliver began his professional career.
The master chef was also awarded the Italian equivalent of a knighthood, known as the Commendatore, in 1998 for services rendered to Italy.
This was followed up by an OBE from The Queen in 2007 for services to the catering industry.
No official cause of death has been given yet.
Jamie’s message was very sweet, and he is just one of a host of high-profile chefs to have offered their condolences on what is a great loss to the world of cooking – rest in peace, Antonio.