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Jamie Oliver’s mentor closes Italian restaurant

By Becky Paskin , 25-Mar-2009

Jamie Oliver’s friend and mentor Gennaro Contaldo has been forced to close his London restaurant, Passione

Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie Oliver’s friend and mentor, has been forced to close his London restaurant Passione , after a fall in trade caused by the ‘current economic crisis.’

 

According to Bloomberg.com , a sign hanging in the window of the restaurant on Charlotte Street said: “We regret that in the current economic crisis, Passione is now closed," After ten years of trading, which included a Tio Pepe Best Italian Restaurant award in 2005, Contaldo took the decision to close down Passione. Despite not having cooked in the restaurant for the past three years, Contaldo remains a director of the company that owns it.

 

In a statement issued by Oliver’s spokesman, Contaldo said: “It’s a very sad day as Passione was my first love and one of the best restaurants in London. But life goes on and my passion is still here and now I’m putting all that passion into my work with Jamie.”

 

Contaldo has been focusing on Oliver’s mid-market restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian , whose fourth site opened in Brighton yesterday.