Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life - ROSANNA CAN­DLER

THERE is no higher com­pli­ment than a pol­ished clean plate or diner’s re­quest for a take­away con­tainer, says Lo Zuc­chero Ital­ian restau­rant and café owner Ge­orge D’An­nun­zio.

“If they can­not eat any more and want it for to­mor­row’s lunch, then you know you have found a win­ning dish,” D’An­nun­zio said.

The City Beach eatery was re­cently awarded the Gold Plate for Fam­ily Din­ing 2015 for the se­cond year in a row, Restau­rant Cater­ing Fam­ily Din­ing 2015, Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion Fam­ily Din­ing 2015 and the famed Ital­ian Award from the Ital­ian Govern­ment.

D’An­nun­zio said his restau­rant re­ceived so many new awards last year that he was hav­ing dif­fi­culty find­ing space to hang them.

“We were drilling holes in a wall and thought: ‘You know what, let’s do a splash­back and use Vel­cro so we can just move them around’,” he said.

“Of course th­ese awards are a team thing, it’s not just me.

“We are all like fam­ily … ac­tu­ally; half of us re­ally are fam­ily. Win­ning an award is great, but also just see­ing your cus­tomers leave smil­ing and blow­ing kisses is more im­por­tant to me than any­thing else.”

D’An­nun­zio said he and his Ital­ian-born chefs drew from their her­itage to cre­ate the menu.

“Some­times just a smell or taste of some­thing brings me back to what I had when I was young, and my chefs are the same,” he said.

“My par­ents come from Vasto, Abruzzo, which is well known for its seafood and is also the sis­ter city of Perth,” he said.

“My mum al­ways says to keep food sim­ple and ev­ery­one en­joys it. We have fol­lowed that tra­di­tion for many years.”

Named af­ter pop­u­lar Ital­ian blues singer Zuc­chero For­na­ciari, but also lit­er­ally trans­lated to ‘the sugar’, D’An­nun­zio said it did not take long for Lo Zuc­chero to find its sweet spot.

“The clas­sic dishes us­ing fresh pro­duce, like our wood-fired piz­zas and pas­tas are so im­por­tant,” he said.

“You see some places that are cut­ting cor­ners, and you can’t hide be­hind that. Cus­tomers would tell you straight up­front.”

Af­ter seven suc­cess­ful years at The Boule­vard, D’An­nun­zio said it was time for Lo Zuc­chero to ex­pand.

“We are look­ing at open­ing a se­cond lo­ca­tion in Man­durah at the end of the year,” he said.

“It will still be Lo Zuc­chero, but as a mi­cro­brew­ery. We’re think­ing of get­ting a gon­dola put out the front to go real Ital­ian, and I think we’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d448613

Lo Zuc­chero owner Ge­orge D'An­nun­zio con­tin­ues to ac­cu­mu­late awards for his restau­rant.

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