Restaurant owners to represent Lancashire in national finals of prestigious competition

Maurizio and Cincia Bocchi of La Locanda restaurant (s)
Maurizio and Cincia Bocchi of La Locanda restaurant (s)

A Gisburn restaurant has celebrated Christmas early by scooping three top awards within 10 weeks.

The owners of La Locanda, Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi, will now go forward to represent Lancashire in the national finals in the Visit England Awards for Excellence. This was after they were named as the winners in the Taste Lancashire category of the Lancashire Tourism Awards.

The couple, who are celebrating their 12th year in business, are also the proud recipients of the ‘Best Italian Restaurant Under 50 Seats’ in the English Italian Awards and the winners of the Gold Award in the 2015 PAPA (Pizza and Pasta Association) Platinum and Gold Awards for genuine Italian restaurants.

The Bocchi’s pride themselves on showcasing Lancashire produce and how it can be incorporated into an authentic Italian menu.

Being devoted to authentic dishes, that can date back 100 years in many cases, is just one reason for their success. Painstaking research into how farmers raise their animals or crops, and how producers make their cheese, milk their cows or produce their honey, is another. And they love to showcase all of their ingredients, even when sourced in Italy. La Locanda has become a destination restaurant for famous names, cosmopolitan foodies from Manchester, Blackburn and Preston, and local residents alike. It is also the only restaurant in England to offer an olive oil menu, just like a wine menu but based on different extra virgin oils that can all be used in the cooking process and which can tangibly alter the taste of a dish.

To allow diners to know as much about their suppliers in Italy as those in England, the couple arrange trips to Italy, which allow their customers to meet their Italian producers and witness their methods of production.

At home they arrange special evenings at which diners can meet the local producers who have largely been with them over their 12-year history.