Celebrity chef and author Antonio Carluccio dies at age 80

Italian chef Antonio Carluccio holds a copy of his new cookbook "Simple Cooking" as he poses for photographs at a branch of his restaurant in Covent Garden, London, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. The book was released on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — Celebrity chef and entrepreneur Antonio Carluccio has died. He was 80.

His death was announced on Carluccio’s website, Twitter and by his agent on Wednesday. The cause was not immediately revealed.

Carluccio, who was born and raised in Italy, had restaurants in England, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates bearing his name. His many Carluccio’s restaurants helped popularize inexpensive Italian food.

He also appeared in several television shows and wrote 22 cookbooks.

The restaurant chain said in a statement: “Antonio built Carluccio’s from one restaurant to the fantastic brand it is today. It isn’t just Antonio’s name above our doors, but his heart and soul lives and breathes throughout our restaurants.”

Carluccio was honored by both the Italian and British governments for his work.