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Beverley Byrne meets restaurateur, author and champion of Italian food Giorgio Locatelli
Locanda Locatelli is on Seymour St in Marylebone, London W1. The restaurant has held a Michelin star since 2008
Giorgio Locatelli grew up on the banks of Lake Comabbio, Lombardy, where his uncle ran a hotel. Giorgio worked in Italy and Switzerland before arriving in England in 1986.
Images courtesy of Giorgio Locatelli

It is midday and the calm before the culinary storm in the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant Locanda Locatelli. Its engaging proprietor, the celebrity chef and television presenter Giorgio Locatelli, immaculate in spotless chef whites, is escorting me through the restaurant’s kitchen, where his chefs are waiting for the frantic lunchtime action. Tantalising aromas of freshly baked bread, fragrant herbs and gourmet cooking pervade the air. The atmosphere is unnervingly calm. “We’re all prepped and ready,” says Giorgio, checking a tray where succulent haunch of rabbit is simmering gently in a rich stock. “It won’t be quiet for much longer. Let’s talk downstairs in my office.” In his subterranean lair, I’m introduced to his English wife and business partner Plaxy, with whom he has two children, Jack and Margherita. Olive, their appropriately named petite black cockapoo, is lounging decoratively on a sheepskin rug.

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About Italia!

This month’s Italian journey begins in the crystal blue waters of the Maddalena Archipelago, just off the northeastern tip of Sardinia. Check out the quieter coves of the Costa Smeralda (no bling required) and travel inland to explore an ancient landscape, with copious helpings of delicious Sardinian food to sustain you along the way. Beth, our newest writer, revisits her beloved Rome, this time with a baby and grandparents in tow. Perugina, the producers of theiconic Baci, are under the spotlight as we trace the history of this venerable chocolate company, and we meet up with Giorgio Locatelli in our exclusive interview.