THE award-winning La Locanda Ristorante Italiano, Gisburn, has new owners who intend to make sure the high standard of Italian cooking continues.
It is now called La Locanda Restaurant and Italian Wine Bar and the new owners, Robert Nelson and partner Rachel Clough, had been visiting the restaurant as customers for several years. They befriended previous owners Maurizo and Cinzia Bocchi and worked with them for six months before taking over.
In the first month they won a Bib Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guide, becoming one of only 23 restaurants in England, Wales and Scotland to achieve the honour this year. The award highlights restaurants offering good food at moderate prices.
Before starting this venture, Robert and Rachel had been working in hotels and catering all their working lives. Robert worked at the Last Drop Village, near Bolton, and the Stirk House, Gisburn, where Rachel also worked.
Robert is passionate about food and loves to cook Italian dishes. He worked with Maurizo, whose passion and skill for cooking authentic Italian food is second to none, in the kitchen for six months prior to taking over the business.
Rachel is front of house and loves talking to customers and making sure then have an excellent time. This is also thanks to Cinzia, who helped Rachel keep the Italian spirit alive.
They are still working closely with Maurizo and Cinzia to keep the restaurant as authentic as possible, but also bringing a new look to the service and food.