“Italian men has two main functions, to eat and to make love”
Last week the world of food has lost a very important figure. He was considered the Godfather of Italian food abroad.
He was born in Salerno, in the region of Campania, the fifth of six children.
He moved with his father’s job when he was young and lived in Castelnuovo Belbo and Borgofranco d’Ivrea. Living in the northwest, an area with great vegetation, as a child he would hunt through the forest for different mushrooms and fungi with his father. After leaving school he did his compulsory one year of military service in the Italian Navy. After leaving the navy, he briefly worked as a journalist with La Stampa in Turin and then as a technician and sales representative for typewriter manufacturer Olivetti.
It was not until he moved again, this time to Vienna, to study languages and start his work life as a wine merchant. Thirteen years later he moved to London to become the Italian wine importer of that time. Thas was back in 1975.
In the restaurant business everything started when he became the manager at Terence Conran’s Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden. He married Conran’s sister. The rest is history.
If you visited London you must surely have come across the Carluccio’s sign from one of his restaurants, seen some of his 20 books in bookshops. It was under his supervision that UK beloved chef Jamie Oliver started working in London.
That led to a life time friendship between them and Gennaro Contaldo, whom they made a hilarous tv series for BBC called “Two greedy Italians”.
A rather quiet and shy persona, I remember, during my London years when I visited his Deli back in late 90’s. Always present and smiling but reserved, making sure everything was up and running as he wanted. Food was good.
The United Kingdom surely is grateful to what Carluccio represented in the evoution and upgrade of quality of food when eating out over the years but mostly being the man who brought Italian flavors over the chanel.
In 2007 he was appointed an OBE by the Queen.
*extracts from Wikipedia