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Locatelli was brought up in Corgeno in the comune of Vergiate on the banks of Lake Comabbio, northern Italy. His uncle ran a restaurant, giving him an appreciation and understanding of food from an early age. After working for a short spell in local restaurants in north Italy and Switzerland, Locatelli went to England in 1986 to join the kitchens of Anton Edelmann at The Savoy. In 1990, Locatelli moved to Paris and worked at Restaurant Laurent and La Tour d’Argent. Locatelli was in the army in his youth.
He won "Best Italian Restaurant" at the London Carlton Restaurant Awards for two consecutive years and his first Michelin star in 1999. His cooking aims to highlight the natural flavours of quality produce, much of which he imports directly from Italy. He opened his second restaurant, Spighetta, on Blandford Street, in July 1997 and its sister restaurant Spiga, on Wardour Street, in March 2009. He left Zafferano in 2001 and the two other restaurants have since closed.
In 2002, on 14 February, Giorgio and his wife Plaxy opened his first independent restaurant, Locanda Locatelli, in Seymour Street. The restaurant, which serves traditional Italian dishes, was awarded a Michelin star in 2003, which has been retained every year since.
Locatelli has featured in four TV series: Pure Italian, 2002, aired on the UK Food channel; Tony and Giorgio, filmed with entrepreneur Tony Allan, shown on BBC2; and Sicily Unpacked and Italy Unpacked with art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon. Tony and Giorgio was accompanied by a tie-in book.
His own cookery book, Made in Italy, was published in September 2006. Made in Italy has received the Best Food Book award at the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards 2007. A second book, Made in Sicily, was published in September 2011. He was also on featured BBC2 the British food revival.
In October 2016, Giorgio was awarded the Commendatore OMRI by the Italian Ambassador for services to Italian gastronomy, the equivalent of a British knighthood.
- Homepage for the Locanda Locatelli restaurant
- Homepage for the Refettorio restaurant
- Giorgio Locatelli at the Internet Movie Database
- Articles by Giorgio on his publisher's blog, 5th Estate