A Sheffield restaurant has become the first venue in the region to scoop the highest culinary accolade in Italy - less than six months after it opened.
Ponti’s Italian Kitchen, at Fox Valley in north Sheffield, is one of only 16 UK restaurants to receive the coveted Ospitalità Italiana in 2016 - bestowed each year on an elite group of restaurants around the world which can demonstrate their Italian authenticity.
Everything from tableware to wine, produce and front of house presentation has to reach the rigorous standards of the judges, who award the seal of approval to those restaurants giving a truly authentic Italian experience to their guests.
The kitemark-style award comes from Camere di Commercio D’Italia - the Italian Chamber of Commerce.
General manager at Ponti’s Fox Valley, Argys Myrtja, said: “This really does feel like winning the Oscars for us!
“The Ospitalità Italiana certification only rewards restaurants who are genuine in their approach to a real Italian culinary experience and they look at every single aspect of our approach to food and business.
“Achieving this award just a few months after opening our new restaurant at Fox Valley is fantastic news and a great achievement for our whole team - from the chefs who prepare our authentic Italian dishes to the waiting staff who aim to give a real Ponti’s welcome to all our guests.”
The £50million Fox Valley restaurant opened in June, and is the company’s third site – it has two in London.
Its menu is inspired by the Emilia-Romagna region - know as the garden of Italy.
n From biscotti, to birds...
Sheffield firm Cafeology has been recognised recently for its bird-friendly coffee initiative in Guatemala where beans are grown under a high altitude canopy of diverse trees which provides a habitat for birds.
The company, on Acorn Business Park, was a runner up at the European Business Awards for the Environment.
Founder Bryan Unklessaid: “I learned about the destructive effect some coffee farming was having on the natural habitat while visiting our central American growers.
“With Cafeology’s core principle of ‘great coffee, great cause’ in mind, we looked at ways of addressing this.”
And in Doncaster, the The Topping Pie Company triumphed with its game and poultry pie at this year’s Taste Awards in Yorkshire.