This month Executive Chef Paolo Barone from Locale takes time out to talk to Limited Edition.

Executive Chef Paolo Barone is from Gorizia in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy. He studied at the Hotel School of Trieste, and worked in several Italian restaurants before moving to London in 1994 where he worked with Giorgio Locatelli before joining Locale Restaurants from its inception in 2005.

When did you first become interested in a career in food Paolo?

“I’ve been attracted to working with food since before I can remember! From when I was very young I was always in the kitchen, watching my mother and helping her out. I decided then that when I grew up I wanted to become a chef.

Part of my training in Italy was in butchery as well so I learnt how to make proper salami and I also trained with an old lady who taught me how to make fresh bread and fresh pasta in traditional ways. I’ve been a chef now for 20-odd years and I came to the UK 16 years ago.

How did you find working with Giorgio Locatelli?

I worked with Giorgio about 10 years ago, when he was executive chef of the Spiga restaurant in London. He’s a great guy. I like the way he works – he’s passionate about what he does.

As Executive Chef , you are responsible for five different Locale restaurants across London. How do you stay hands-on in the kitchen?

I always spend Friday and Saturday nights in the kitchen, working with the boys, and I spend time at two restaurants every day, training and working on the menus. I don’t stick to one restaurant – you could see me at any one at any time!

What makes Locale such a fantastic place to eat?

At Locale we use the freshest food and the best ingredients we possibly can – we make our focaccia on a daily basis and make our own fresh pasta as much as we can. I believe if you use the best ingredients you don’t need a lot of extra flavours or sauces. We provide the best food we can at the best prices we can and I’m confident we will grow as a company.

You obviously live and breathe food. Do you have time for anything else in your life?

Well, I’m single and I don’t have any children! I don’t have time for anything like that! This is not a 9-5 job – you need to be available all the time. I do have hobbies, when I get the time. I love gardening and I’ve transformed part of my garden in Streatham into my own allotment. I grow salads and vegetables – it’s something I really enjoy doing.

Do you have a signature dish at Locale?

One of our favourite and most popular dishes is the seafood linguine. That’s linguine made with cherry tomatoes, squid, clams, mussels, and baby octopus. We sauté the seafood with garlic, chilli, parsley and some white wine.

Locale, Italian Restaurant & Bar 1 Lawn Terrace Blackheath Village, London, SE3 9JL Tel: 020 8852 0700