Gino D’Acampo offers the home chef a chance to produce authentic delicious Italian cooking using a straightforward ingredients and cooking techniques. He is a regular of television with his easy style and his programmes always show Italy in all its glory, from the history, through to the stunning countryside, culture, the sunshine (it does rain but not on his programmes) and of course his ‘cheeky chappy’ style of presenting. That presentation style is always full of fun and laughs, innuendo and a bit of flirting to the camera. It wasn’t surprising that he would be crowned King of the Jungle back in 2009 when he appeared on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Cooking on that show probably hasn’t been as good before or since !
He first came to prominence as the ‘This Morning’ chef but he started life as a trained chef. Born in Naples, Italy, he moved to the Big Smoke, London to work in The Orchard Restaurant in 1995. It didn’t take long for him to be noticed by TV production looking for a handsome European chef and he landed spots on Great Food Live and UKTV Food.
He married his wife Jessica in 2002 and lives in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
He earn’t himself a conviction for robbing Paul Young’s house which seems way out of character. That didn’t stop him though from earning a great deal of respect for the quality of his cooking.
He is also a business man in other food arenas, being a co-owner of the ingredients supplier Bontà Italia Ltd. He is also credited with having six Guinness World Records which is quite a feat. The records include making 22 ravioli in two minutes and for ‘running across custard’ for the longest time which seems quite bizarre.
If you cannot get enough of Gino, you can also visit his restaurant chain which is opening places all over the UK. The latest is in Hull. In fact he is always trying new ventures from his Pizza & Prosecco Bar in the Arndale Centre, Manchester together with a number of Individual Restaurants in various centres.
The Cook Books
Gino’s cooking programmes include Italian Escapes, Islands In The Sun and Italian Coastal Escape, Italian Home Baking and Gino’s Pasta. There are to date 11 cooking titles to his credit and the earliest are now being repackaged such as Pronto.
Gino’s Italian Coastal Escape is an eight-part journey around a coastline which he knows like the back of his hand. Much of it seems to be a on a speed boat which is not surprising because driving the road around the coasts is nerve-tingling.
His trip includes not just Naples, but the most beautiful touristic Amalfi Coast. The whole region is a like a jewel. There are stunning shots of sheer, vertiginous cliffs and we get to see some wonderful towns such as Minori, Cetera and Positano. We also cover the Aeolian Islands such as the pleasure dome of Capri. It has been home to great celebrities from Roman Emperors such as Tiberius and Caligula to the German armaments family Krupp and numerous film stars.
The book covers all these elements and delivers a visual stunning experience even if you cannot be bothered to do the cooking. Having said that, we’ve borrowed recipes from his web-site associated with the series and it lights up the kitchen on the darkest and coldest of days.
If you are into the more attractive aspects of mainland Italy, you cannot fail to enjoy his book on Gino’s Italian Escape. This offers the reader a chance to take recipes from regions which have been hidden from us. Take Umbria for example, home of Perugia, Gubbio and Assisi. Here you can gorge on truffles, meats, vegetables, lentils and grains. He also takes us through Puglia and Calabria to name a few.
If you are aiming to lose a few pounds of weight, then try Gino’s Healthy Italian (Publ. Hodder & Stoughton). There are recipes here taken from regions of Italy which emphasise low calorie but high flavour.
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