Chef of the Week: Maurizio Bocchi, Chef Patron of La Locanda in Lancashire

How long have you worked at your current restaurant? 
I have owned La Locanda for 20 years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
My mother was a great cook and having a farming background myself a passion for ingredients and cooking developed year after year I learned from different chefs but must is because I am a curious person and insatiable of knowledge

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The seasonality of different ingredient every year is different every dish become a new challenge and the direct relationship with producer

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Extra virgin olive oil ,extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil!

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
The oven.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Extra virgin olive oil in cooking as an ingredient not just a condiment.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down? 
Taking short cuts.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why? 
Autumn, because there are a lot of foraged produce gowning and game is plentiful.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
My handmade pasta.

How do you come up with new dishes?
The seasonality of the ingredient gives me the inspiration and memory, I strongly believe every dish need to have a story behind it.

Who was your greatest influence? 
My grandmother.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Marco Sacco.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Any cookbook with regional Italian recipes.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
I have not visited any new restaurants in the last year, yet!