It was back in 2009 that Italian food legends Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo first joined Mr Oliver for a Jamie magazine shoot. Six years later, the three have reunited again for the cover of this year’s Italian issue, and the chemistry between the “godfather of garlic”, the “pasta master” and the “don of desserts” is as electric as ever.
Gennaro and Antonio first met back in 1981 at the latter’s Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden, when the former turned up at the door offering a handful of wild mushrooms. The pair, who both hail from the Amalfi coast in Italy, bonded over their love of excellent Italian ingredients, and soon Gennaro was welcomed into the fold. A fresh-faced Jamie joined the team aged 18 as a pastry chef, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, all three have enjoyed decade-spanning careers in food, but their appreciation for beautiful ingredients and simple Italian cooking is a defining characteristic that’s never been forgotten.
For this very special cover shoot, Jamie magazine art director Andrew Jackson took inspiration from his love of Federico Fellini, the Italian director and scriptwriter behind ‘La Dolce Vita’ – a classic of ‘60s cinema. The title translates to “the good life”, and is the perfect line for this issue because it sums up everything that’s great about Italian cuisine. “I wanted to show the three generations on the cover” says Andrew, “and to demonstrate the skills that have been handed down – Antonio mentoring Gennaro, and Gennaro passing his knowledge on in turn to Jamie. Federico Fellini had a famous quote that ‘life is a combination of magic and pasta’, so capturing the trio dishing up spaghetti was an obvious choice”. Renowned food photographer David Loftus did an amazing job capturing the natural spark between the three chefs, and he admits the result is one of his favourite covers so far.
Inside the magazine, Jamie, Antonio and Gennaro are sharing some brilliant recipes that cement their titles as the godfathers of Italian cooking.
True to his roots as a pastry chef, Mr O shares his recipes for some seriously dreamy Italian desserts, from moreish cannoli to a beautiful Vin Santo-drenched pear and chocolate tart that everyone’s gonna love. These are Italian classics, but with Jamie’s signature twist – think beautiful, velvety pannacotta drenched in coffee syrup for a new take on affogato –and it’s easy to see why Antonio and Gennaro saw so much promise in a young Jamie all those years ago!
Gennaro heads back to his home on the Amalfi coast to share some of the dishes that best represent this inspiring culinary landscape, from a rustic spaghetti made with cime di rapa (dark, broccoli-like greens) and sausages to stuffed lemons – the area’s star ingredient.
For Antonio, it’s all about that all-important Italian ingredient: garlic. His recipes, such as chicken baked with rosemary and garlic and a classic pesto Genovese, follow his cooking motto, “MoF, MoF – Minimum of Fuss, Maximum of Flavour”. This philosophy has clearly been passed on to Gennaro and Jamie too – it captures everything great about Italian cooking. Deliciozo!
For more from Jamie, Antonio and Gennaro as well as loads of inspiration to help you eat like an Italian, pick up a copy of this month’s Jamie magazine, or click below to subscribe – and in the meantime, have a look through a few beautiful Italian tips, ideas, and recipes from JamieOliver.com.