Our favourite Italian chefs list is here, do you agree? Let us know if you think otherwise, are there others you think that we should have mentioned? Britain boasts a wealth of incredible Italian chefs who have changed the way we perceive, and eat Italian food. To celebrate their impact on Britain’s culinary scene, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Italian chefs, from familiar TV personalities to the ‘godfather of Italian gastronomy’.
Born in Minori on the Amalfi coast, Gennaro Contaldo is legendary for being known as the chef who taught Jamie Oliver how to cook Italian food. Instantly recognisable for his cheery persona and Italian spirit, Gennaro is something of a household name, having written 12 cookery books. He regularly appears on popular British TV shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Two Greedy Italians. We, like so many others, can’t get enough of his infectious enthusiasm. If you’re after a regular dose of Gennaro, you can find him cooking up classic Italian dishes over on his YouTube channel.
Anna Del Conte
Born in Milan in 1925, Anna Del Conte is an Italian food and recipe writer who’s praised for opening Britain’s eyes to real Italian cooking. Beloved by the likes of Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson, Anna was the first cookery writer to specialise in Italian food and has published myriad award-winning books over the years, as well as winning the Guild of Food Writers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Now 98 years old, Anna is still considered the doyenne of Italian cookery and has had a lasting impact on the way we perceive Italian food today.
Antonio Carluccio OBE
Antonio Carluccio OBE, aka the ‘godfather of Italian gastronomy’, was a hugely-respected Italian chef (he, sadly, died in 2017), as well as a restaurateur, cookbook writer, and TV personality. He grew up in Salerno in northern Italy as one of six children, before moving to Vienna, Turin, Germany He finally London, where he worked as an Italian wine buyer. In 1991, he opened his first Italian food shop, Carluccio’s, which would go on to become a hugely successful international chain, with 30 restaurants in the UK and Ireland alone. Antonio wrote 22 cookery books in his lifetime and later became known for his appearances on popular cookery TV shows, including Two Greedy Italians and Carluccio’s Italian Feast.
Although not technically Italian, Jamie Oliver is renowned for his masterful Italian cookery. He learned his trade from another great Italian chef on this list, Gennaro Contaldo while working at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant in London. Jamie is synonymous with Italian cuisine, has written a wealth of Italian recipe books, filmed multiple cookery programmes in which he travels across Italy, and owned the (now closed) restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian. His rustic-casual cooking style.
Award-winning actor, filmmaker, and author Stanley Tucci made his entrance into the food world later in life. It’s no wonder that he made it into our 5 of our favourite Italian chefs list. Although best known for his appearances in a plethora of blockbuster films – from The Devil Wears Prada to The Hunger Games – he also hosted the BBC series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, in which he traveled around different Italian regions discovering the history and culture behind its rich cuisine. In 2021, he released his memoir Taste: My Life through Food which traces his memories of food throughout his life.
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