Celebrity restaurateur, who received an OBE from the Queen for his services to the catering industry, passed away this morning

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has died aged 80.

A statement from the Italian chef’s agent said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE sadly passed away this morning.”

Carluccio was known for his Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s, which was founded in 1999, and for appearing in TV programmes, including BBC Two series The Two Greedy Italians along with chef Gennaro Contaldo. He also popped up on Loose Women, Food and Drink and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.

Brought up in the country’s north-west region as one of six children, Antonio briefly worked as a journalist in Turin before moving to Vienna and then Germany, and eventually to London to work as a wine merchant, before devoting himself to restaurants.

Antonio has written more than a dozen books based on Italian food.

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.