The Seven Sins of Gennaro Contaldo - Training and Development Chef at Jamie’s Italian
The Critics Guide
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The Seven Sins of Gennaro Contaldo

Training and Development Chef at Jamie’s Italian
Gennaro Contaldo
Gennaro Contaldo is one of the most respected chefs in London, as well as a renowned personality in his own right. He is widely known as the Italian legend who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking.

Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast, Gennaro’s quintessentially Italian spirit and positive nature has made him a TV favourite. He regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen, as well as his own TV show, the highly successful Two Greedy Italians on BBC Two.

Gennaro has worked in some of London’s most popular restaurants, including Antonio Carluccio’s ‘Neal Street Restaurant’. In 1999 he opened his own restaurant ‘passione’ on Charlotte Street, which was awarded ‘Best Italian restaurant’ in 2005.

His first cookbook, Passione, published by Headline in 2003, won ‘Best Italian Cookbook 2003’, at the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards and was shortlisted for the André Simon Award. He has since written many other books on Italian cooking, the latest, published by Pavilion, is Gennaro’s Italian Bakery.
 
Gennaro is currently involved in Jamie Oliver’s highly popular restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian, which includes over 30 branches nationally, as well as over 20 internationally.

He has his own Food Tube channel online where you can see him cook some of his delicious dishes. Over the last year Gennaro has been working with Bertolli with Butter, fronting a tv advert and creating a number of recipes that can be found here. For the last two years he has also partnered with Italian holiday company Citalia. See some of the films he's made here.
 
Wrath - What makes you angry about the hospitality industry?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
I would say waste but we don’t have any waste at Jamie’s italian. It’s a funny one - I don’t get angry at all because I love my job. My chefs are all really good and I feel really positive. If I really don’t like something then I like to see if we can adjust it or fix it.
 
Greed - If all your food fantasies came true what would be on your Plate?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
It depends - whatever is in season! It would have to be something light and fresh like a simple bowl of pasta with fresh seasonable vegetables.
 
Sloth - What do you do to unwind?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
I can’t say making pasta as that would be work... I’m a workaholic, I don’t know if that’s right or wrong because I love my job. I enjoy fishing because I can catch the fish and then cook it, and I like foraging for wild food, like mushrooms. Another hobby of mine is whittling walking sticks - I give them away as gifts. Jamie has a few!
 
Pride - What are you most proud of?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
It makes me proud to see happy people in the restaurants because Jamie’s Italian is a joy. I’m proud of everything Jamie has achieved since he came to work for me as a pastry chef all those years ago.
 
Lust - Is there anything that you are still lusting to achieve?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
There are so many nice people around the world and I would like to meet them all.
 
Envy - who are you most envious of?
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
I don’t envy anyone - I am grateful for the lovely life I have.
 
Gluttony - have you ever over indulged? 
Gennaro Contaldo Seven Sins
As a cook, you never indulge yourself because you have access to so many foods, which means you are careful. There are definitely things that you want a little extra of when you have them, but you have to balance yourself. Sometimes I try to reach a flavour that reminds me of the food my mother and father would cook but then I think I have reached that - it’s all there when you taste it but, because they’re not here, there’s always something missing.
 
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Seven Sins
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