Giancarlo, restaurateur met Katie, artist in 1997. He loved her painting, she loved his pasta. They now have 2 restaurants, a cookery school, 15 cookbooks and 2 sons.
Caldesi in Marylebone opened in 2002 as an informal bar and restaurant showcasing Italy’s regional cooking and great wines.
In 2005 Katie and Giancarlo opened La Cucina Caldesi Ltd, a cookery school where the couple, Head Chef Stefano Borella as well as guest chefs could share the secrets of their trade. They wrote their first cookbook Italian Mamma’s Kitchen based on Giancarlo’s mother’s recipes.
Within 6 weeks, in the summer of 2005, the couple got married, opened their Tuscan cookery school (2005 – 2009), opened the London cookery school and wrote their second cookbook. A documentary maker, Adam Alexander, thought it so mad he made a television series entitled “Return to Tuscany” which aired on BBC2 in Autumn 2006 and accompanied the book of the same name. After the series Katie and Giancarlo became regulars on Market Kitchen, BBC Masterchef, BBC Breakfast, Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch and GB News.
Caldesi in Campagna opened in Bray, Berkshire in 2007. Giancarlo is behind the stoves on a regular basis where the emphasis is on seasonal and regional Italian food. Katie published the Italian Cookery Course in 2009 which was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Awards and the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year award. In June 2010 Giancarlo was presented with the Cavaliere del Lavoro by the Italian government for his lifetime work representing Italy abroad.
During the years that followed, Katie has written 5 further Italian cookbooks and the couple have opened their cookery schools in Caldesi in Campagna and their home kitchen in Gerrards Cross.
In 2011 Giancarlo was told he had Type 2 diabetes which explained various health issues he was suffering from. However instead of taking medication he was determined to lose weight and fight the disease. He was also told he was gluten-intolerant by nutritionist Jenny Phillips which was a huge blow for the pasta-loving Italian chef.
At this time Katie was commissioned to write a book about salads which meant they were constantly testing recipes made primarily from plant sources such as salad leaves, herbs and vegetables.
Inadvertently they were following a low-carb diet. Katie was constantly online looking for information and recipes and came across a world of low-carb eaters and most importantly low-carb eaters who were diabetic and who had turned their condition around.
They met Dr David Unwin who runs a GP practice in Southport and with his wife Dr Jen Unwin, holds a clinic to support diabetics and people with other conditions who can be helped by a low-carb diet. The Unwins, Jenny Phillips and the Caldesis decided to write a book to help others entitled ‘The Diabetes Weight-loss Cookbook’ which was featured by the Daily Mail and became a bestseller across Amazon. This led to a further 4 books about low-carb eating to promote weight-loss and conquer Type 2 diabetes.
Now 7 years on from Giancarlo’s first diagnosis of diabetes, his HbA1c levels have dropped to just 38, he is back in the normal range and the diabetes is in remission. It’s been a difficult journey but Giancarlo feels if he can do it then anyone can, and it’s never too late to make a start.
For low-carb cookery classes and further information about a low-carb lifestyle see www.thegoodkitchentable.com.