I’m devastated to hear of Antonio Carluccio’s passing yesterday at the age of 80 and I feel incredibly grateful for the memories I have with this legendary Italian chef and restaurateur, from events at his restaurants where he shared his passion for rustic food to filming with him and most recently attending his 80th birthday party where he was as charismatic and charming as ever!
…Antonio also kindly shared famous recipes from his bestselling books on my blog and was always so generous with his time and most importantly his culinary, and life advice to me. I feel so privileged to have been privy to his wisdom.
I will never forget the first time I met him, in London, as a child as my father stopped to compliment him on his success in the doorway of a Carluccio’s deli. Warm and open, he chatted to us all for half an hour as he and my father swapped culinary stories. That was Antonio: kind and passionate!
He loved that I would call him the Tom Jones of cooking and marvelled at the digital world, and how a video he’d once featured in making Carbonara with good pal Jamie Oliver had reached millions on YouTube.
He’s asked me to show him my blog on his phone when we’d had a press dinner together and told me every book he’d written was done so by hand.
He taught me…and so many of us about the power of food.
‘Food is an act of love’ he would say and, ‘Food and sex are so important, you can’t have one without the other’. See, a total culinary Tom Jones!
His mantra of ‘MEMF– minimum effort, maximum flavour’ has never left me. In fact I thought of it yesterday without knowing of his passing, as I blogged my pea pasta and Napolitana sauce recipe.
Robust, rustic flavours that sing on the plate.
Antonio, you are so missed already.
Thank you for everything x