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We’re still not good cooks despite all those TV shows and recipe books, insists Antonio Carluccio

Antonio CarluccioAntonio CarluccioFood served at the British dinner table is “not up to scratch” according to veteran Italian chef Antonio Carluccio, who is going to be one of the star attractions at Marlborough’s first food and wine festival in May.

“There is a big difference between restaurant food and food in the home in Britain,” he says.  “The private food is not up to scratch yet, despite all the teaching and all the books.”

Carluccio, who is 76 and the author of a host of recipe books, was speaking as a member of a panel discussing food at the Oxford Literary Festival, and he praised the Italian attitude towards mealtimes, which have a focus on eating as a social occasion.

But when it came to the UK – and those TV programmes on cooking --  the food served at home was below par.

He suggested that children should learn to cook while watching their mothers and pointed to the importance to educated parents rather than rely on cooking lessons held in school.

And asked how he would improve the culinary scene, he added:  “It’s very, very difficult.  The government wants to start from educating children, mother and daughter.

“If you don’t have that, you’re missing some links and missing some culture.  If you taste something that your mother’s made, you will remember it forever.”

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