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  1. ITV Report

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio dies aged 80

The chef was known for his Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's Credit: PA

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has died at the age of 80.

A statement from the Italian chef's agent confirmed that he died on Wednesday: "It is with great sadness that we announce that Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE sadly passed away this morning."

He was known for his Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's, which was founded in 1999 and was awarded the AA hospitality achievement award in 2012.

The chef was also well known for appearing in TV programmes, including BBC Two series The Two Greedy Italians along with chef Gennaro Contaldo.

The chef met the Queen in 2008. Credit: PA

He received the Commendatore, the equivalent of a British knighthood, from the Italian government in 1998 for services to Italy.

In 2007, he received an OBE from the Queen for his services to the catering industry.

A statement from the chain Carluccio's said: "We are incredibly saddened by the news that Antonio Carluccio, our founder, passed away on Wednesday.

"Antonio built Carluccio's from one restaurant to the fantastic brand it is today.

"It isn't just Antonio's name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants.

"Antonio was an OBE, OMRI and a much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, cook, restaurateur, food expert and TV personality.

"He was regarded as the Godfather of Italian cooking.

"Antonio has been a huge inspiration to many of us and his energy, zest for life and sense of humour will be greatly missed."

Dubbed the Godfather of Italian gastronomy, Carluccio wrote more than a dozen books based on his country's food.

  • In 2015 Carluccio created an exclusive recipe for ITV News viewers to help them use up leftover Brussels sprouts at Christmas time - the News at Ten Brussels Sprouts
The chef treated ITV News to an exclusive Brussels sprouts recipe for Christmas time Credit: ITV News

TV chef James Martin has paid tribute to "giant of the food world", Carluccio.

In a statement, Mr Martin said: "It was a privilege and an honour to have met and worked with Antonio, one of the true greats of TV chefs.

"His passion and commitment to both the restaurant business and to television was lifelong.

"He was a giant in the food world and he helped bring Italian food to the masses around the world.

"My thoughts go out to his family. Sadly missed."

Other celebrities and those who knew Carluccio took to social media to pay tribute to him.

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