Luciano Catalinotto, Ardencote Manor's Lodge Restaurant, Warwickshire: Chef
PUBLISHED: 23:09 07 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 February 2013
Thirty-seven-year-old Luciano Catalinotto, Ardencote Manor's Lodge Restaurant.
Thirty-seven-year-old Luciano Catalinotto was born in Leicester to an Irish mum and Italian dad. He worked at the Heythrop Park Hotel and the Royal Hotel in Ross on Wye as well as in Rome, Venice and Sicilia before he became head chef at Warwickshire's Ardencote Manor's Lodge Restaurant.
Tell us about your menu.
Modern British fusion.
What is your favourite dish to cook?
Any fish dish known to mankind.
And to eat?
Fishfinger and sea salt sandwich.
Which chefs do you admire?
My kitchen brigade, they are dedicated, hard working and a great bunch of people to be around
Any that you don't?
Any with an ego bigger than their talent.
When did you start cooking?
At about the age of ten in home economics class at school and professionally at about 15 in my parents restaurant and Rocco's One Michelin-starred fish restaurant
I wanted to be a marine biologist at first but catering has always been a part of my life so it seemed natural to follow that path
Where did you train?
In Italy, Scuola Albergiera di Alassio, close to San Remo in Italy
What's your approach to food and the whole dining experience?
Keep it simple, keep it fresh, and enjoy, oh and throw in a bottle of wine or two
What is the most important meal you've ever cooked?
The first time I cooked for my wife, I really wanted to impress her, and get that crucial second date, it worked!
Do you use local produce and local suppliers?
As much as I can I like to build up a relationship with all my suppliers, they are an important part of getting the right balance into our menus. We use Lighthorne lamb and meat from Midlands butchers amongst other things.
What local products do you value most?
The local lamb is superb and also all the local grown herbs and berries
What's the best bit of advice you've ever received?
And the best you've ever given?
Don't ever give up.
How often do you change your menu?
Seasonally, and twice within the season.
Do you have any favourites that you will always include no matter what changes you make?
Cucumber and Scottish bell chilli sorbet, you get a comforting cool flavour first before the roof of your mouth gets blown off, I love it
Why should people visit Ardencote Manor?
Because they love fresh prepared food, want a relaxing evening out, and want to try something a little bit special.
What is your favourite Warwickshire restaurant?
This may sound strange but Wellsbourne airfield's caf makes the best English breakfast around for miles around, plus you get to watch the planes taking off and landing.
Ambitions for the future?
To write a novel.
When you're not working what do you like to do?
I love riding my Ducati 999 motorbike with my wife looking for great British pubs to stop off for lunch. I also get relaxed and lazy with a book on the sofa with my cat Pepe and a nice cold chardonnay.
Ardencote Manor Hotel and Country Club,
Lye Green Road, Claverdon,
Tel: 01926 843111