Antonio Carluccio, the Godfather of Italian Cooking, is noted for his gentle manner, gruff voice and wild crop of white hair. He was one of the UK’s first celebrity cooks and is responsible for not only bringing Italian cooking to the UK but also nurturing and inspiring British talent such as Jamie Oliver.
Antonio Carluccio was born the son of a station master and travelled the length and breadth of Italy which provided a rare and privileged culinary knowledge. After school, Antonio had a brief spell in the Navy, was a journalist in Turin and a wine merchant in Germany before, in 1975, when he travelled to London and made it his home.
After being awarded runner up in the Sunday Times Cook of the Year competition (1981) Antonio was asked to take over the Neal Street Restaurant which he quickly turned into one of the hottest places in London playing host to Pavarotti, Prince Charles and Sir Elton John.
Antonio is also responsible for bringing quality Italian food to the British high street through Carluccio’s Cafés and with over 40 restaurants across the country Antonio has made his presence felt across the UK.
It was back in 1983 when Antonio made his first appearance on our television screens reporting on BBC2 about Mediterranean food. He subsequently became a regular on BBC 2’s Food and Drink Programme, BBC Saturday Morning Kitchen, Market Kitchen as well as making several of his own series including Southern Italian Feast and Antonio Carluccio and the Leopard.
In 1998, Antonio was awarded the Commendatore OMRI by the President of Italy for services to Italian gastronomy, the equivalent of the British knighthood. This was followed by an honorary OBE in 2007 for his services to gastronomy in Britain.
He has written thirteen bestselling books, including Complete Italian Food, Complete Mushroom Book and Italia. Antonio Carluccio’s latest book is Simple Cooking.
In his spare time Antonio donates much time to homelessness charities, believing in the power of food to feed the soul.
Antonio Carluccio can deliver speeches in English, Italian and German and talk on subjects diverse as Cooking, Food Philosophy, Mushrooms, Foraging, Italian Culture and Travel.