Gino D’Acampo cooks up a storm in Cheshire before leaving for Italy after This Morning announcement

Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo served up a new menu of Italian treats at his Alderley Edge restaurant Luciano – before jetting out to Italy for a summer of huge new TV projects. Gino shocked viewers of This Morning earlier this week when he said it was his “last show” due to his departure from him to his native Italy for a raft of new projects.

But Italian chef Gino tells the MEN it’s not a permanent departure from the daytime show. He even hopes to film some “live from Italy” segments to send back to This Morning in the weeks to come, before a return to the ITV studios in September.

The reason for his departure to Italy? He’s cooking up an exciting new TV series for fans – combining his passion for food with, well, passion itself.

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He explains: “I’m filming a new dating cooking show – called Cooking Up Love with Gino. I’m basically building a cookery school, and then eight single people will be joining me to run the cookery school and they will find a date as well.

“If you’ve ever seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love, think along those lines.” While he’ll be missing from his cookery appearances on This Morning for a while, he is hoping for a live link-up saying: “I’ve convinced the producers to do a live with Holly and Phil at some point too.”

Gino inspects dishes at his Luciano restaurant

The 45 year old Italian chef had revealed his departure on the ITV show this week. Wandering around the stuido he told Holly and Phil: “I was just walking around because I am a little bit sad today… because I am going to go to Italy very soon, in the next couple of days, so this is my last This Morning.”

Looking genuinely surprised, the hosts both asked: “Until when?” Gino came back, “until probably autumn or winter.” To which, Phil quickly added: “Oh, thank god for that.”

Gino says he will be heading to his home on the Italian island of Sardinia, where he is also planning a series of new films that will air on This Morning about the secrets to the long life of residents there. As if that wasn’t keeping him busy enough, Gino also revealed he will be filming for two new Christmas specials with his foodie pals, Gordon Ramsay and Fred Siriex for the popular Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip series.

Gino made his surprise announcement to Holly and Phil this week

But before that busy summer of TV filming, he took the time to travel to Alderley Edge to unveil the new spring/summer menu at his “upmarket Italian” restaurant Luciano. The new additions to the menu include a host of dishes inspired by his Sardinian homeland.

The menu was previewed on Thursday ahead of going on sale at the London Road restaurant in Alderley Edge for bookings from April 7. The restaurant, formerly Piccolino, was taken over by Gino for his first northern Luciano Italian back in January, ahead of an eagerly -anticipated Manchester city center launch later this year.

The new menu includes a quite extraordinary ricotta-stuffed courgette flower fritti, fried and drizzled in Sardinian honey. Gino said: “It’s a very complicated process to do this, it’s a nightmare of a dish to prepare but I do like to put my chefs under pressure.”

A new signature dish at Luciano – courgette flower fritti

New mains include fresh rocket and ricotta tortelloni served with sage butter and toasted pine nuts, and a spring rack of lamb with peas and pancetta dish inspired by his family’s traditional lamb recipes. The dish is served pink, with Gino joking “If you want it well done ask for that when I’m not around! It has to be medium rare.”

All dishes are inspired by Gino’s travels, as well as recipes from the acclaimed chef’s latest book, and are prepared fresh from scratch on site. New salad dishes for the summer include the Loch Duart salmon with broad bean, spinach and citrus dressing; spinach, tomato, avocado, chestnut mushrooms and crispy guanciale; and grilled broccoletti and asparagus with grapes, chickpeas and warm croutons.

Those who enjoy seafood will approve of the show-stopping grilled lobster in Catalana sauce – fresh lobster, simply brushed with butter and baked before being topped with a fresh cherry tomato and red onion salsa and served with a fresh mixed leaf salad on the side.

Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo welcoming guests to his Luciano restaurant in Cheshire

There’s also a selection of new desserts including Nutella pizza fritta – fried pizza dough filled with mascarpone and topped with Nutella, caramelised banana and toasted hazelnuts; Catalan cream with raspberry sorbet; and panna cotta, Amaretto, strawberries and honeycomb – a classic panna cotta recipe served in a glass with strawberry puree, strawberry jelly, honeycomb, macerated strawberries, micro mint and icing sugar.

Speaking on the launch of the new seasonal menu at Luciano, Gino said: “As a chef, the spring and summer months are often the most exciting as there are so many vibrant ingredients to work with in the kitchen. The simple and beautiful flavors of the season are at the very heart of the new Luciano menu and I’m looking forward to seeing guests enjoying the dishes I have created alongside my team of talented chefs.”

Spring lamb on the menu at Luciano

The restaurant is the second named after Gino D’Acampo’s first born son Luciano, following the opening of the first Luciano at the five-star ME London hotel in the heart of the capital’s West End last year. Gino previously confirmed big plans this year for more Luciano sites across the UK – including at a prime site in Manchester city centre.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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