Revengeance tastes best when it is cold Carlo Cracco is an Italian celebrity chef who successfully sued the newspaper that criticized his risotto

  • Cracco (56), served a tomato-risotto and braised wagyu meat at the 2016 gala dinner 
  • Achille Ottaviani, a critic of the restaurant’s food and service, wrote that many guests were leaving to buy a kebab.
  • Masterchef judge Cracco sued for defamation for a total of €34,500

A newspaper published a criticism of an Italian celebrity chef’s risotto at a 2016 gala dinner. The paper was successfully sued by the chef.

Carlo Cracco (56) is a former Italian Masterchef judge. He launched legal proceedings against Achille Otaviani, editor, La Cronaca di Verona for his critical review.

At the gala, the chef served a risotto made with tomato, garlic, cumin, and braised wagyu meat.

Italian celebrity chef Carlo Cracco (pictured) has successfully sued a newspaper that criticised his risotto served at a gala dinner in 2016

Carlo Cracco, an Italian celebrity chef and photographer (pictured), sued a newspaper for critiquing his risotto at a 2016 gala dinner

At the 50th Anniversary of Vinitaly, the city’s wine festival Vinitaly was celebrating its 50th year, 400 people were served by him.

But Ottaviani wrote after the dinner that many diners left disappointed and headed to nearby kebab shops, the focus of Cracco’s legal complaint, The Times reported.

Editor: “Insipid Risotto, hard meat, and vegetables that don’t match. Except in the folly or non-existent culinary grandeur.

Cracco’s TV commercial says, “Better San Carlo chips.” 

Cracco has won two libel suits and a court has ordered Ottaviani to pay fines of €11,000, preliminary damages of €20,000 and costs of €3,500 for the defamation.

The chef said he is considering launching a separate civil case for a further €50,000.

The scathing review had a negative impact on his business, he said.

Because the review contained responses by unnamed guests it could not be considered an opinion, nor was it a statement or fact and therefore it is not protected under Italian law.

Cracco, 56, a former judge on Italy's Masterchef, launched legal action against the editor of La Cronaca di Verona, Achille Ottaviani (pictured)

Cracco (56), a former Judge on Italy’s Masterchef launched legal action against Achille Ottaviani, editor of La Cronaca di Verona.

Dario De Marco, a food journalist, said that he would not have written “I was disappointed”, but that crisps would be better. He went to get a kebab when he got out. That would be criticism. It would still have been protected as an opinion.

Cracco replied online after the review had been posted. He said: “Talking negatively or attacking me is the most sought-after hobby to gain more views or greater notoriety. 

“In other words, it is a method to get people talking about themselves.”

He stated that guests were impressed by the quality of his risotto, and that he didn’t notice any guests leave for a kebab.

It is the second time Cracco has successfully sued Ottaviani for defamation, previously winning €1,000 for another negative review.