ethical muse has had a long-standing friendship with fun-loving northern Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, who is considered by many to be one of the best Italian chefs in the UK. Highlighting natural flavors of local produce, maintaining a Michelin star, and being the author of cookbooks reflecting his Italian heritage whets our appetite on the blend of luxury and sustainability. What is Locanda Locatelli and what keeps their A-list clientele coming back for more?
Let’s start with a little background on Locanda. At Locanda Locatelli we serve traditional Italian dishes, emphasising the quality and freshness of the produce, with a personal creative touch. That, together with friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere, has made Locanda Locatelli one of the most sought after restaurants in London. We are proud to have won a Michelin star in 2003, which has been retained since.
What is the point of difference between the success of Locanda and other Italian restaurants in London? What other Italian restaurants?
What does the word sustainability mean to you? I am an ambassador for Slow Food. They have a fantastic concept of sustainability that I try to embrace; linking the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. They work to build links between producers and consumers.
Does Locanda Locatelli do anything special to promote sustainability? We are very conscious about using sustainable products in the kitchen. I am very interested in maintaining traditional methods and promoting good, clean, and fair food.
How important is it for you to use locally sourced products? It is very important to use local products and also to understand the story behind ingredients.
Take us through a typical day at Loconda Locatelli. The day starts first for the baker who is in the kitchen from the early hours. Then, the chefs begin to arrive from 8 a.m. followed by the FOH (Front of House) team. We all sit down for an early lunch at 11:15 a.m. Next there is a briefing and then service begins at midday. After a quick breather following the lunch service we have staff dinner at 5 p.m. followed by a briefing, opening again at 6 p.m.
What are the most popular dishes on your menu? Our homemade pasta is always very popular.
Describe your typical clientele. Our clients are very diverse; some people come for quiet business lunches, others for birthday celebrations and special occasions. We love seeing people coming back year after year to celebrate.
Tell us about “Table 11”. Table 11 is where my family sits when they are in the restaurant. It is near the kitchen, and from there you can see the whole restaurant while still feeling private. Many of our friends and regulars won’t sit anywhere else!
Watch for our post next month where we get personal with the man behind the restaurant; Giorgio Locatelli interviewed for our Look Who We Met feature.