My Life In Food: Giorgio Locatelli

 

Giorgio Locatelli is the chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli in London's Mayfair. His latest cookbook is Made in Sicily (Harper Collins, £30)

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

My knives are never far from me. I'm in love with them, really. I buy all Japanese. They make by far the best in the world. I have one guy who I visit whenever I'm in Tokyo. I buy so many whenever I go there. What I never use is a microwave. They are crap. A really terrible way of cooking things.

If you had only £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I'd go to a market. Perhaps Borough Market. I'd try and pick up some pheasant. I'd pan fry the breasts and serve them with some glazed carrots. The liver I'd serve on crostini. And the rest of the bird I'd use to make ravioli. I'd like to use everything if it was my last £10 in the world.

What do you eat for comfort?

I don't really have one comfort food. I have lots of little desires, my tiny comforts. Marshmallows, for instance. We started making them five or six weeks ago in the restaurant. If you were to test my blood you'd see I've been eating them every day, I'm full of sugar. I'm an addict.

If you could eat only bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I would choose bread. I would happily live off large Italian loaves for ever. We Italians love bread more than potatoes. My father is well known for putting bread rolls in his pockets whenever he goes to a Chinese restaurant. But I do still like potatoes. Spuntas especially, as I use them for my gnocchi. King Edwards are also very good – they are perfect for salads.

What's your desert island recipe?

Spaghetti with tomato sauce. It is a simple dish, but the flavour is to die for. Spaghetti is very difficult to make as you have to dry the dough at exactly the right temperature for the correct amount of time. So I buy mine from Verrigni. Before I prepared the pasta, I'd cook some tomatoes in a little olive oil on a low heat for about an hour. I'd use good quality tomatoes and at the very end would add some salt and basil. It makes a really good sauce. I'd spoon it onto the cooked pasta. Delicious.

What's your favourite cookbook?

Pellegrino Artusi's The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well is a fantastic book. It was really the first Italian cookbook. Before 1891, when it was published, there weren't any "Italian" cookbooks per se. Artusi brought it all together into a single cuisine. I give it as a present to the chefs who come to work for me in my kitchens.

Who taught you to cook?

So many people. Some taught me organisation, some how to run a business, others how to run a kitchen. My grandmother inspired me, though. She used to cook lunch on Tuesday afternoons for my extended family in the restaurant. It was always beautiful – so fresh, never anything but totally delicious.

What advice would you give to aspiring chefs?

Keep it simple and nice and fresh. And avoid showing off at all costs – that isn't what it's all about. Cooking is about sincerity and balance and, most of all, about wanting to give something to someone else.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there