Filling the Blanc shaped hole in the BBC schedule is the return of the greedy Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio. Sadly the first series passed me by. I must catch up on these as it was an absolute treat.
In a similar vein to Raymond’s trip across France, the two ex-pats return to Italy to create some lovely dishes and generally make mischief.
The two old friends drove a beautiful car, stole fruit and butchered a pig. Like you do.
Like many, the first time Contaldo came to my attention was as the eccentric mentor to Jamie in the Naked Chef. Unbeknownst to me he moved to the UK in the late 60’s, worked in Carluccio’s restaurant and published numerous books. These guys clearly go waaaaaay back.
Carluccio OBE is a legend. Looking increasingly like Barry Cryer, he’s like an adorable grandad getting a bit tipsy in the corner. Seeing these elder statesmen play around on an old train carriage recounting their packed lunches was fantastic as was their attendance at a local christening (where Carluccio was caught resting his eyes for a moment or two) and Contaldo’s dip in the ocean – trousers rolled up, socks still on.
Recipe-wise the orange rice cake and fish stew looked glorious. The series definitely benefits from there being two of them (as mognellagnawson discusses) which is something Raymond could’ve done with – his junior chefs didn’t quite cut the moutarde de Dijon.