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Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori MBE, born in Milano, Italy is a world-famous jockey with several UK champion titles to his name and he has won every British Classic race several times. In 2017, he reached a total of 3000 winners.

His father, Gianfranco Dettori, won the Italian jockey championship title fifteen times and rode Bolkonski (1975) and Wollow (1976) to victory in the 2000 Guineas. He also won the Irish 2000 Guineas in 1977, with Pampapaul.

Frankie Dettori is 1.63 metres (5ft 4 inches) and he got down to 8 stone 6lbs (118 pounds or 52.5 kilos) to win the 2017 King George Cup on Enable. Dettori said that he dropped 7lbs in six days, by consuming white fish and water. Dettori told Newsnight in 2010, that before they had been banned by The Jockey Club in 1998, he had taken a lot of diuretics.

In recent years, John Moores University has been working with jockeys. Though most seem to favour the little and often approach now, Franny Norton told Racing Post: ” John Moores University and the team have changed the lifestyle of a jockey. They have introduced a low carb diet, because we don’t burn a lot of carbs. I am now watching people like Richard Kingscote and Daniel Muscutt who bring in their own food. A lot of jockeys are now changing. ”

Frankie Dettori is the father of five with his wife Catherine – Leo, Ella, Mia, Tallulah and Rocco. He met Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White in his restaurant Drones, and they spent several hours discussing Italian family food. Frankie would spend summers in Sardinia with grandparents, as a child.

Marco Pierre White’s Italian mother died when he was six years old, but he too has happy childhood memories of the countryside around Genoa.

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Frankie Dettori bemoaned the lack of a family restaurant providing Italian food. He wouldn’t give his children chicken nuggets at home and didn’t want to pay for them to eat such things when having a family dinner.

From basic idea to finished restaurant, it took Frankie and Marco six months to open the first restaurant of an eventual five.

In this video from 2012, Marco Pierre White talks about the venture and the latest restaurant, in Hoylake.

Although Frankie Dettori isn’t on record as saying that he low carbs, the majority of recipes in Frankie Dettori’s Italian Family Cookbook with Marco Pierre White (HarperCollins 2007) are low carb or adaptable to low carb.

Pizzas can be made using cauliflower pizza crust (bought or home-made). Konjac pasta or shirataki noodles can be substituted for pasta. Spiralized vegetables are also good, especially courgettes (zucchini) for courgetti (zoodles).

If you omit the 10g of sugar in the chocolate mousse (or use Stevia if you must), you too can enjoy Frankie Dettori’s Nonna’s chocolate mousse.

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The photography is fantastic, featuring Frankie Dettori with his family in Sardinia and family fun in Stetchworth, near Newmarket, Suffolk. Here are some photos from October 2020, of the house in which they lived at the time.
Frankie Dettori’s former home has come up for sale, with stables and manege exactly as beautiful as you’d expect – Country Life

I lived in a flatshare in Chelsea (and spent six nights per week clubbing) for about eight months. One of my flatmates was Italian. She cooked spaghetti with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg. The water was stirred vigorously and then a raw egg would go in, so that it cooked in the water and left tendrils wrapped around the spaghetti. I don’t know the name of the dish, as the only Italian words Gianna taught me were swear words. It was a family recipe, though.

For me, buying the First Edition would have been justified by one recipe – Stracciatella which is a soup, made using eggs in a similar way. Frankie Dettori calls this soup the Italian version of ” Jewish penicillin ” aka chicken soup.

Preparation 5 mins and cooking time, likewise.

Whisk 3 medium eggs (organic preferably) with 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley. 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (Parmesan) and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. (You could use bottled Sicilian lemon juice if it doesn’t have additives).

Place 1 litre of chicken stock (preferably fresh or defrosted, not from stock cubes or pots) in a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil.

With a metal spoon, slowly pour in the egg mixture, stirring all the time, to get long ribbons of egg.

Add salt and peeper to taste and serve in warmed bowls, straight away.

Photo by Théroigne S B G Russell

Thlow carb recipes include salsa di erbe, carpaccio con mostarda, cozze alla marinara, vegetable stock, Mozarella di bufalo Caprese, peperoni farciti al tonnno, insalata di rucola e Parmigianovitello tonnato, insalata alla torpino (omit pomegranate) , indivia con acciughe, insalata di piselli (frozen peas could be used if cooked and can be lower carb than fresh),sugo di pomodori e funghi secchi, Bolognese sauce, Genovese sauce, anchovy paste, pomodoro sauce, bollito misto con salsa verde, scallopine di pollo con erbe, Frankie’s burger (no buns), agnello in padella con melanzane arrosto, bistecca al rosmarino, Bearnaise sauce, bistecca fiorentina alla romana, garlic sauce, anitra con olive, pollo aromatico in casseruola, vitello arrosto, pollo al peproni, bistecca alla pizzaiola, arista di maiale al finocchio, cacciucco, spiedini alla marinara, sardine con salmoriglio, trancio di rombo arrosto con olive e pomodori, scalloppine di salmone alla Napoletana, tonno alla Mediterraneo, coda di rospo al limone, asparagi al Parmagiano, piselli alla Francese, Parmigiana di melanzane, funghi trifolati, zucchini ripieni, broccoli al vino rosso, frittata (omit potatoes), cipolline con Pancetta, fagioli al pomodoro (French beans, omit sugar) bagna cauda, mousse di cipccolato (omit sugar or sub stevia)

Great recipes for summer and a few winter ones, also. Recipes for homesick Italians, too.


This would be a great book for a self-catering holiday in Italy. Also suggest THE ITALIAN DIET from Gino D’Acampo

Frankie Dettori’s Italian Family Cookbook (

In May 2019, Frankie Dettori cooked with Epsom racecourse Head Chef, Chef Rhys Owen, to make his favourite dish, Melanzane alla Parmigiana. There isn’t any pasta in the dish, but it does need some sort of barrier, other than plain flour, to stop the aubergines absorbing the oil before frying, to be truly low carb

The Professional Jockeys’ Association’s Nutrition Team devised a recipe for Steak stir fry, in August 2017 and asked Frankie Dettori (not shown in the video) to make it at home.

To keep it low carb, use shirataki noodles or konjac spaghetti.

Celebrity square meals: Frankie Dettori’s lamb cutlets with rosemary oil and Treviso | The Independent | The Independent

Frankie Dettori’s rolled turkey | HELLO! (

Dettori turns masterchef – Horse & Hound (

Dettori praised for using diet of ‘fish and water’ to make Enable weight | Horse Racing News | Racing Post

What’s in your basket? – Frankie Dettori | Food | The Guardian

Frankie, my dear… | Food | The Guardian

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