In Vincenzo Margiotta’s Italy, good food is for everyone
What makes Il Forno superb? One man’s vision to bring real Italian food to Liverpool.
Devoted to the restaurant trade, Vincenzo Margiotta has sampled the finest produce and cuisine from around the world. Yet, when asked where his true love lies, he always returns to Italian food.
When Vincenzo speaks of Italian cooking, his eyes light up. When he speaks of its regional specialties, his voice takes on an irresistible excitement. From spicy cured meats to the rarest cheeses, his knowledge is exceptional. When Vincenzo saw the opportunity to create Liverpool’s finest Italian restaurant, he embraced it wholeheartedly.
Where does this enthusiasm come from? And how does it inspire Il Forno? A second-generation Italian immigrant in the UK, Vincenzo's parents instilled in him a love for authentic Italian ingredients, exquisitely prepared. Learning at their side, he knew that the best food needed passion and quality - but that it didn’t need to cost the earth.
“Take pizza bases,” he explains, a broad smile on his face. “Such a simple thing - yet so few restaurants prepare them the way the Italians do. By sourcing high quality Italian flour and cooking our pizzas in a homemade stone baked pizza oven, we give
diners something they should have as a right, not a privilege: a real taste of Italy, freshly made.”
Knowing that so few British restaurants served real Italian food, Vincenzo was determined to seek a skilled Italian as his head chef, finally finding him in the celebrated figure of Paolo Cillo. As glowing reviews have noted, it gives an undeniable stamp of quality to every recipe Il Forno prepares.
In everything Il Forno does, there is a focus on heritage and quality that customers and critics find irresistible. And it’s a focus that is all-pervasive. Each ingredient is sourced from speciality producers - some exclusively grown for Il Forno, like its prestigious olive oil. The kitchen equipment, ice-cream machine, pizza oven, espresso machine - all are as delightfully, quirkily Italian as the ingredients and recipes visitors adore.
Some call it demanding, but the results are superb. And, numerous awards: from Italian chef Antonio Carluccio to "The Times", critics have lined-up to heap praise on Il Forno, calling it one of the best Italian restaurants in the UK. They do so not simply because of the food, but because of the service and warm welcome, too. With so much effort put into every detail, perhaps that isn’t surprising.