When the Italian celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio linked up with Sir Terence Conran’s sister Priscilla it proved an irresistible combination in both marriage and business. Priscilla saw a gap in the market for a mid-market delicatessen and restaurant in 1991 while Carluccio brought cooking knowledge and flair. Opening its first restaurant in Covent Garden, Carluccio’s now feeds 65,000 diners each week at 22 outlets across London and southeast England, sending them away with pots of marinated peppers and pasta. Sales have grown 66% a year, from £6m in 2001 to £27.8m in 2004, and the company is now seeking to float on the stock market at a reported value of up to £60m, from which Antonio Carluccio and Priscilla are expected to make £10m.
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