||January 21, 1949
Minori, Campania, Italy
- Saturday Kitchen
Great Food Live
The Way We Cooked
The Food Programme
Gennaro Contaldo, (b.January 21, 1949 Minori, Amalfi Coast, Italy) co-owned and was executive chef of the now-closed Passione restaurant, in Charlotte Street, London, UK. Contaldo 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. He began working in local restaurants at age eight. He left Italy in 1969 for London where he married in 1974 and had three children. He briefly established an Italian antiques business before returning to cooking. 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 Antonio 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. Passione closed in March 2009 due to decreased business as a result of the late-2000s recession. In media interviews, Contaldo has frequently voiced his enthusiasm for foraged wild food, especially mushrooms.
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. Oliver even once put up a reward for information when Contaldo's restaurant, Passione, was robbed in 2003. Contaldo has appeared on many of Oliver's television shows, such as The Naked Chef. He made a comic appearance as one of Oliver's sous chefs on Food Network's Iron Chef America, in a battle against famed Italian-American chef Mario Batali. Contaldo also developed menus and trained chefs for Oliver's UK restaurant chain Jamie's Italian.
Gennaro has made cooking appearances on numerous other television shows. On BBC1's Saturday morning show Saturday Kitchen, he set a record of 16.36 seconds for making a 3-egg Omelette.
- The Food Programme (1996-2006 - 2 programmes)
- Breakfast (1997-2006 - 2 programmes)
- Fresh Food (4 August 1999)
- Self-Sufficiency (22 October 2000)
- The Naked Chef - The Italian Job (2001)
- Saturday Kitchen (2001- 2011 - 10+ programmes)
- The Way We Cooked (2002 - 2003 - 3 programmes)
- Jim Davidson's Generation Game (2002)
- Jamie's School Dinners (2005)
- Jamie At Home Christmas Special (2007)
- Iron Chef America - Served as one of Jamie Oliver's sous chefs during his battle with Mario Batali (2007)
- Rachel Allen: Home Cooking (30 January 2010)
- Two Greedy Italians (2011)
- Jamie Cooks Summer (2011)
- Woman's Hour (BBC Radio 4) 13 September 2004
- Passione (2003)
- Gennaro's Italian Year (2006)
- Gennaro's Italian Home Cooking (2008)
- Genarro's Easy Italian (2010)
- ^ Bloomberg news article, March 25, 2009.
- ^ Telegraph news article, October 5, 2000
- ^ Telegraph news article, September 21, 2000
- ^ Times news article, September 17, 2004.
- ^ BBC news article, September 25, 2003.