Gennaro is an Italian chef and successful cookery writer. He is well-known to British audiences as Jamie Oliver’s mentor, and for his role in the programme Two Greedy Italians, with Antonio Carluccio.
Gennaro grew up in the small village of Minori on the Amalfi Coast, developing his love for food from days he spent hunting with his father and grandfather, and collecting herbs for his mother.
Contaldo’s inspiration to cook in England was partly due to the availability of game and fungi, both important components of Amalfitan cuisine.
Contaldo later worked for popular London restaurants in St John’s Wood, and at Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant in London’s Covent Garden.
He left Neal Street in 1998 and opened Passione in 1999. Passione was awarded ‘Best Italian Restaurant 2005’ by the Tio Pepe Restaurant Awards.
In April 2003, Contaldo published his first cookbook, Passione, which is dedicated to the Amalfitan style of cooking. The cookbook won ‘Gourmand World Cookbook – Best Italian Cuisine Book’ for 2003. His second book, Gennaro’s Italian Year, was published in September 2006. His third book, Gennaro’s Italian Home Cooking, was published in September 2008, and his fourth, Genarro’s Easy Italian, was published in March 2010.
Contaldo is also famous for his association with his protege, Jamie Oliver, whom he first mentored at Neal Street Restaurant in the 1990s. The two chefs have since maintained a close friendship and professional relationship. Contaldo has appeared on many of Oliver’s television shows, such as The Naked Chef, and he also developed menus and trained chefs for Oliver’s UK restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian.
Gennaro has made cooking appearances on numerous television shows. On BBC1’s Saturday morning show Saturday Kitchen, he set a record of 16.36 seconds for making a 3-egg Omelette.
Gennaro is well-known to British audiences for his role in the Two Greedy Italians telelvision programmes alongside Antonio Carluccio, the last of which was aired in 2012 and was called Two Greedy Italians: Still Hungry.
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One of the most respected chefs in history, Gennaro Contaldo is in demand as an after dinner speaker and event host.