Italian chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has died

Emma Haslett
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Antonio Carluccio: "Don't over-do it, don't do it for the stars' (Source: Getty)

Celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio, the founder of the Carluccio's restaurant chain, has died at the age of 80, his agent has said.

Carluccio founded his eponymous restaurant as an Italian food shop and wholesaler in 1991, before opening the first Carluccio's Caffe in central London 1999.

Carluccio sold his shares in the company to, among others, Ivy owner Richard Caring in 2005. In 2010 it was bought for £90m by Landmark Group, a Dubai-based investment company, although Carluccio remained a consultant to the company which bore his name.

In an interview with The Independent in 2012 he said: "I don't want to praise myself too much but I do think I've done quite a lot for Italian food in this country.

"And I have seen a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon ever since – Nigella [Lawson], for example. I see what she, what they all, cook, and I can see the origins. There is no copyright, of course, and a lot of the time these younger chefs wouldn't even say where they got their ideas from. But I know."

In 2015 he explained the secret of his chain's success to food blog The Welsh Rarebit:

It’s not that we do incredible things – but that normality is a good thing. That is our motto in Italy: don’t over-do it, don’t do it for the stars; produce honest, simple and good food that pleases everybody. The other bits and pieces, like good service, good ambience and good prices, obviously have to go with this. So, the combination of these four things is what makes Carluccio’s a success.

Read more: Mama Mia! Carluccio’s to open stateside

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