Meet the Chef - Maurizio Bocchi, La Locanda. Gisburn

Maurizio Bocchi, La Locanda. Gisburn

Maurizio Bocchi, La Locanda. Gisburn - Credit: Sarah Valentine Photography

Maurizio Bocchi is head chef at La Locanda, the multi award-winning Italian restaurant he runs with wife Cinzia in Gisburn.

A Taste Lancashire ambassador and advocate of the Slow Food Movement, Maurizio specialises in bringing authentic Italian cooking to the Ribble Valley and loves to share his home country’s food, culture, heritage and cooking techniques. Here, he shares his food loves.      

First dish you learnt to cook?
I learned to make pasta with my mum almost every day.

Most vivid childhood food memory?
It is difficult to say, but I remember with joy the fresh zabajone my Nanna used to make for me every morning.  

Most memorable meal out?
On our first wedding anniversary, the owner of a beautiful restaurant in a villa on Lake Maggiore opened up just for us.

Favourite ingredient?
Extra virgin olive oil. It represents the most important ingredient in my cuisine and is essential for our body and healthy living.

Your go-to snack?
Toasted bread with a sprinkle of sugar and extra virgin olive oil.

Describe your cooking style in three words?
Simplicity, seasonality and quality ingredients.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
A farmer. My family have always been farmers and taught me the respect and the importance of ingredients, environment and their passion for farming

Your dream dinner guest and why?
Chef Bruno Barbieri. I have a lot of admiration and respect for him.

What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Hazelnut chocolate spread from Piedmont.

Who are your local food heroes?
All of our suppliers and our secret lady gardener.

A chef who inspires?
Bruno Barbieri, Marco Sacco and Antonino Cannavacciuolo.

A place you love to eat?
White Swan in Fence. I love the way chef Tom Parker cooks and respects the ingredients. There is a wonderful atmosphere, too.

Favourite Lancashire/Lakes food?
Black pudding bubble and squeak, hot pot.

Ambitions/plans coming up?
There are important and exciting projects in the future starting with a new state of the art kitchen.