A Sunderland business has the recipe for success after being named amongst the best in the country for Italian food.
Angelo’s competed against the cream of Italian restaurants at the English Italian awards, returning home with two runner-up titles.
Aniello (Nello) Russo, picked up the runner up award for Best Chef at the prestigious awards ceremony in Manchester, while colleague Gerardo Giacomaniello picked up the runner-up gong for Best Pasta after rustling up a dish for judges including celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.
Sunderland restaurant Bellini in Seaburn also came away with a runner-up award for Best Team.
Aniello was defending a title he’d won in both 2015 and 2016, but said he was still delighted to be announced as runner-up. “I’m still very happy to be named amongst the best in the country,” said Aniello. “I never dreamed I would be named the best for two years running, so to come second this year is still amazing. Aldo has always been really complimentary of the food and said the entries this year were of a very high standard.”
Aniello’s competition dish, a crispy pecorino cheese canneloni stuffed with salted cod and served with three types of tomato, pesto, bazil and aubergine crudites, will be added to the menu at Angelo’s Ristorante in West Sunniside, while Gerardo’s dish, a paccheri pasta with homemade pesto sauce, crisp Parma ham, sundried tomatoes and cream of mozzarella, will be available from Angelo’s Trattoria in East Rainton.
Co-owner of Angelo’s, Federico Trulli said: “Competing chefs have to travel to Manchester to prepare the dishes for the judges who then do a blind tasting. They are looking for a simple, authentic dish that could be served in a restaurant.
“The list of restaurants who compete are the best in the country. If we are going to compete in an Italian restaurant competition we want real Italian competition so it’s great to be able to compete against restaurants of that standard.”
Angelo’s was among the first businesses to open in the Sunniside development 11 years ago and in May 2016 opened the trattoria.
Federico said: “It was a gamble to open an out of town restaurant, but it’s really paid off. It’s a lot more rustic than the city centre site and we have a good regular clientele who pop in for a pizza and a pint. All our customers have been really supportive of the awards.”