Jamie Oliver has expressed his sadness following the loss of Nonna Franchina, who made a cameo in his TV show, Jamie Cooks Italy. Taking to his Instagram page on Monday, the celebrity chef shared a series of pictures with his friend alongside a heartfelt message. "Today we lay to rest the wonderful Nonna Franchina at the age of 95 years old," he wrote. "If you guys saw the TV show that I made with @gennarocontaldo three years ago cooking with all those amazing Nonnas [grandmothers] around Italy from the north to the south from the mountains to the islands you’ll know that on the beautiful island of Salina this wonderful lady was a font of knowledge in the kitchen."
He added: "Her food tasted so so good and she was such a kind loving soul... today a matriarch of the island kitchen leaves us." Turning his attention towards Nonna's loved ones, Jamie said: "I wish all her family and all of her friends on the island so much love from myself and of course Gennaro and all the TV crew who enjoyed our time on the island... viva Nonna Franchina!! Viva Salina !! Big love jamie oliver @salinaecogastronomica these beautiful [pictures] by @davidloftus."
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Jamie's co-host and fellow chef Gennaro Contaldo also paid his respects, by writing on his social media page: "Today we lay to rest Nonna Franchina from the island of Salina where @jamieoliver and I filmed one of the episodes of Jamie Cooks Italy. An inspiring amazing Nonna with a wealth of culinary experience, she was 95 years old. RIP Nonna Franchina, we will miss you so much."
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Gennaro was Jamie's first boss when he moved to London – and since then, he has been the TV star's mentor, close friend and colleague. A legend in his own right, Gennaro is a TV star, chef, restaurateur, Jamie's Food Tube favourite and the man credited with teaching Jamie how to cook authentic Italian food.
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