Burnley boasts the best Italian coffee shop in England – and it is just Bellissimo.
Renowned celebrity chefs, expert judges and the great British public all agreed that Bellissimo Coffee Shop in Parker Lane was the best leading it to being recognised at the English Italian Awards.
The coffee shop, run by husband and wife team Giovanni and Lynn Scibetta, first opened in Burnley seven years ago.
But it has been a long and winding culinary journey for chef Giovanni, who was born in Sicily and developed his cooking skills in France.
Before bidding arrivederci to his homeland, Giovanni, or John to give him his Burnley name, learned his trade as a trainee chef in a hotel on the Mediterranean island.
He said: “I am so proud we have won this award. It is not just for us, it is for the whole of Burnley.
It is not just for us, it is for the whole of BurnleyGiovanni Scibetta
“I have settled in the town now where I have brought up my family, and I am pleased we have been recognised by such prestigious people and of course our loyal customers.”
Judges, including freelance food critic Jo Cooksey, rated the coffee shop on the quality of its food, including its gluten-free range, which is made by hand by coeliac John.
He added: “We are unique in that I make everything myself including our pasta, pizza and cakes.
“Earlier in my life I worked at a chateau in Avignon, France, but I also wanted to know how to bake. When I came to Burnley I learned about pastries and pies at the BSK factory in Plumbe Street. It has all been great experience.”
The award ceremony, held at the Palace Hotel in Manchester, was attended by several large national Italian food chains and celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.