Shaper: Antonio Carluccio

Show aired on 27th August 2016


Commendatore Antonio Carluccio is an OBE, OMRI and a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, cook, restaurateur and food expert. He was raised in the rural North West of Italy; this gave Antonio a rare and privileged breadth of culinary knowledge. It was here, in Piedmont, at the age of seven that Antonio started his life-long past-time of hunting and collecting mushrooms and fungi with his father.

His love for Britain is evident and he has lived here for the last 37 years. In 1981 Antonio opened the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, London, which traded for 26 years. That year he also was runner up in the Sunday Times Cook of the Year.

In 1991 Antonio opened a delicatessen next to the Neal Street Restaurant and in 1998 started the first Carluccio’s Caffè in Market Place, London. In 2012 Antonio was awarded the AA Hospitality Lifetime Achievement award. Winners of this award are congratulated for making significant contributions to their industry, which have had a notable impact, and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress in their field.

Antonio has written 22 books on subjects ranging from mushrooms, pasta, Italian cooking and Opera, as well as his autobiography, published in 2012. His most recent book, Pasta, was published in March 2014 and shares Antonio’s love of Italy’s favourite food. His 23rd recipe book ‘Vegetables’ will be published this October.

From 1983 onwards Antonio has made regular appearances on television.

Along with his books and TV appearances, Antonio is a consultant to Carluccio’s restaurants chain and Brand Ambassador to Cirio tomatoes. He also travels extensively, visiting Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. last year.

Antonio was appointed Commendatore by the Italian Government in 1998 for services rendered to Italy, the equivalent of a British knighthood. He also received an OBE from the Queen in 2007 for services to the catering industry.

His website: will be re-launched in Autumn 2016.

Listen live at 9am Saturday.

Follow Antonio on Twitter @CookCarluccio

“I am not a chef. I am a cook.”

“Generally the Italian believe that food is the second best thing in life…”

“I was then alone in Vietnam… I was standing there, I was by myself and I wanted the food that my mother used to create and I became a cook.”

“When you eat it has to be pleasure otherwise it doesn’t have any sense.”

“If you are a student again somehow in life, don’t say to the girls ‘come and see my etchings’ but say ‘come and eat my pasta’.”

“I never wanted to have a restaurant because I know that having a restaurant… it’s heavy.”

“I like to change shapes of things with my hands. To touch things with my hands. My hands are very pleasurable tool for me.” 

“I never would have expect that Britain would recognise my effort to do Italian food in Britain and they did.”

“I remember the first time I saw my name Carluccio printed…Antonio Carluccio published like this, just like somebody that tried to commit a crime just to be in the paper.”