In this Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 file photo, Italian chef Antonio Carluccio holds a copy of his new cookbook "Simple Cooking" as he poses for photographs at a branch of his restaurants, in Covent Garden, London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
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Italian celebrity chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio died on Wednesday aged 80, his website said.The London-based Carluccio was known for his namesake restaurant chain, books that got Britain switched on to Italian food and his nurturing of the chef Jamie Oliver.Carluccio started out as an importer of Italian wine, in Germany from 1962 and London from 1975, before switching to restaurants.The restaurant, which ran for 26 years, launched the career of Oliver, who started out there as a pastry chef.He then co-founded the British high street restaurant chain Carluccio's in 1999, which also has outlets in the Middle East.He wrote more than 20 books about cookery, largely on Italian food, and on mushrooms -- a lifelong passion which began with his childhood foraging in rural Piedmont.
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