Italy’s ‘Father of Tiramisu’ Dies Aged 93

Father of Tiramisu
Photos: LE BECCHERIE/FACEBOOK

Ado Campeol, the Italian restaurateur nicknamed the “father of tiramisu” by his country media, died at the age of 93.

Campeol owned Le Beccherie in Treviso, northern Italy, where tiramisu, a dessert made with coffee-soaked biscuits and mascarpone cheese, is reported to have been originated in 1969.

The dessert was allegedly invented by accident when the restaurant’s chef, co-inventor Roberto Linguanotto, was creating vanilla ice cream and accidentally put some mascarpone into the egg and sugar mixture. He observed the excellent flavor of the concoction and informed Campeol’s wife Alba.

After trying the combination over coffee-soaked savoiardi biscuits, they perfected it (also known as ladyfingers). The dish was formally added to the restaurant’s menu in 1972, but the family never copyrighted it. It wasn’t published until 1981 when it appeared in an edition of Veneto, a food and wine magazine.

Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region, tweeted on Sunday: “With Aldo Campeol, who passed away today at the age of 93, Treviso loses another star in its food and wine history, which will also shine up there. Aldo, his very long activity as a restaurateur, and his Beccherie, have gone through decades of the best Treviso tradition.”

Journalist Josh Barrie tweeted a snapshot of the restaurant’s tiramisu with the caption: “Sad to see the ‘father of tiramisu’ Ado Campeol has died aged 93. I was lucky enough to visit his restaurant, Alle Beccherie, in Treviso, a few years ago, to try the original. Here it is.”

When Campeol was a little kid, his family purchased Le Beccherie in Piazza Ancillotto. He later ran the restaurant before selling it in 2014. His wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren survive him. 

Ladyfinger biscuits, strong coffee, mascarpone, eggs, sugar, Marsala wine, rum, and cocoa powder are used to make Tiramisu, a rich layered dessert. Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian, most likely referring to the dish’s two caffeinated ingredients, coffee, and chocolate.