Credo: Antonio Carluccio
Chef and Italian-cookery expert, 72
Sunday 08 March 2009
Carluccio's is not just a commercial thing. It is more than that. It is about belief and passion. People know if you are genuine.
I built the [Carluccio's Caffè] brand and then I sold it – it took some time to realise my name was sold as well.
I have only one commandment, which is to try not to hurt other people. If everybody would pursue that, we wouldn't have wars.
Down-to-earth food can conquer the world – not tarted-up, molecular cooking. No, the future is in cooking something which has been cooked for millennia, with taste, flavour and honesty.
Your food has to talk – and talk clearly. Very often, you see so-called celebrity chefs promoting themselves and not the food. I always say that you're only the messenger and not the protagonist of the programme.
Success came to Jamie Oliver by chance. After starting at my restaurant, he was seen by a television camera when he was at the River Café, doing bits and pieces: a lovely boy, very quick [around the kitchen]. As for the rest... he's been very clever.
When you love your profession, you have to just do it. It's not a question of just money or success – it's something pleasurable.
I have various things to divert me from work. I carve wood, play with clay, paint a little bit. I do very primitive art – sort of impressionistic landscapes.
You need food to be happy and you need it to sustain the body. Some people say, "I don't care what comes into my stomach." I care!
I have become a bit more philosophical in the past few years. You learn more, think more and analyse the things that have happened. Nonetheless, part of my brain remains childish.
Family is very important. It is better that family stays together. By eating together, you share thoughts, you share rows, you share love, you laugh – it's good.
Retirement would equal death. I'm going to work until the end.
'Antonio Carluccio's Southern Italian Feast' is out on DVD tomorrow
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