Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 13:15, 07 August 2014 |
A man who welcomed the stars through his restaurant doors has died at the age of 89.
Victor Di Cara, who ran the popular Il Forno restaurant in East Peckham, died at the Emily Jackson home in Sevenoaks on Monday.
Born in Palermo, Sicily the son of a successful citrus fruit farmer and exporter, he was sent to be educated in England with his brother Emanuel at an early age.
The outbreak of war saw the end of the business and he found a living in London, while his brother continued in the fruit trade based in Covent Garden.
He developed a love of ballroom dancing and through that met his first wife, Bridie. An artistic man, he met his wife Guiseppina whilst training her in the art of silk screen printing for products such as Liberty scarves requiring fine detailed work.
They went on to settle in Borough Green, and later moved to East Peckham where he chose to leave painting and decorating to purchase and set up the Bake Oven, which later became the Il Forno restaurant.
As the business’ reputation grew, he was able to count among his regular customers the likes of gardening legend Percy Thrower and racing driver Barry Sheene.
He was also an accomplished interior and exterior decorator, and inspired others to go into the trade.
The business was later sold and he retired but continued to work, as a gardener for several families; making penny whistles and decorating at the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel and then Maidstone with his son Dominic, general manager. His last shift was in December 2013.
He also developed an interest in wine, becoming a member of the Italian institute of Sommeliers and made his own wine – Vino Vittorio.
His son Dominic said: “He was much loved by us all. Everything he did he did with aplomb. His last words to us, when we took his favourite picture in for him, was “That picture’s crooked”.”
He leaves Guiseppina, his five children David, Stephen, Dominic, Linda and Nino, six grandchildren and a great grandson.
His funeral will be held on Wednesday, August 13, at St Thomas’s Church in Sevenoaks.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.