Master chef Luke Piccolo could become Griffith’s first ever NSW/ACT Young Achiever Award recipient, after being nominated as a finalist for the prestigious small business achiever award category.
The annually presented awards are for outstanding achievements of people under the age of 30 in the state.
Luke, 28, said the nomination recognises the hard work of his team at Griffith restaurant Limone Dining, who are just at the start of their journey.
“We really want to make Limone a destination restaurant… with people travelling [from all over Australia] to dine with use on weekends”.
Luke also said team are aiming for a chef’s hat, which signify the country’s best eateries in the Australian Good Food Guide.
And there are also exciting plans for a restaurant expansion to the now unused downstairs area. Watch this space.
Limone Dining – built by Luke and his family – is already fiercely popular in the region, often booked out weeks in advance.
“We were talking bookings for Valentine’s Day in October,” Luke’s partner and restaurant manager Fabiola Valtolina said.
Luke said Limone’s secret is its simplicity.
“We don’t hide things behind flours and microherbs… we only use three of four elements per dish, and use the top quality produce grown around Griffith”.
Dad Peter said Luke’s nomination is recognition for what his son has done for food and wine in our region.
“You can grow the best produce in the world, but that’s no good if you can’t deliver and present it on someone’s plate”.
“Thanks to Luke, people are literally getting a taste of what Griffith has to offer”.
“He could be anywhere in the world, but he’s come back home to showcase what Griffith has to offer.”
For Luke, even more important than the food is customer service, and staff satisfaction.
“Everyone in our team comes in to work with a smile”.
“You can have good quality food, but you need staff who love to convey the message, and our story. Everything in our restaurant has a story”.
Luke prodigious career as seen him do everything for running Michelin-starred restaurant kitchens in Italy, to taking on the NSW deputy premier John Barilaro in a cooking dual.
He opened Limone Dining in 2015, a fine dining restaurant with a focus on local seasonal produce, and wears many other hats. He’s also on the steering committee for Taste Riverina Festival and proudly runs many successful events each year, and is a director of Thrive Riverina and the chef ambassador for Murray Cod Australia.
The NSW young achievers finalists will be presented and winners announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner to be held at in Sydney on Friday April 20. One of the seven category winners will be chosen as the 2018 NSW/ACT Young Achiever of the Year and will receive an additional $5,000 and an overall winner trophy from Masonicare.
Luke said the prize money would be useful for an overseas holiday to Italy he’s taking with Fabiola later this year.
“We haven’t real had a holiday in three years, so I’m looking forward to a break”.