‘Hotly anticipated’ Sunderland development welcomes brand-new Italian restaurant

An ‘ambitious’ young chef is set to bring the authentic taste of Italy to Sunderland, as the latest addition to the hotly anticipated Sheepfolds Stables development.

Vittorio Farigu, who is currently executive chef at Gino D’Acampo’s popular restaurant on Newcastle’s Quayside, will be opening Vito’s Osteria, which will offer small plates of stunning cuisine, inspired by different regions of the Mediterranean country.

The restaurant, which will open in spring 2024 when the £3m Sheepfolds Stables development is complete, will offer more than 50 covers, and is Vittorio’s first foray into owning and managing a restaurant.

Vittorio, or Vito for short, commented: “The idea is a concept I have been thinking about for a long time and it is inspired by the atmosphere of a family dinner. I want to create a place with a specific identity and authenticity; for it to have that feel of being at a family dinner, like the ones I enjoyed when I was little, with laughter, love and great food.”

Vito, whose mother hails from the north of Italy and his father from Sardinia, was born in Lake Garda and grew up on his dad’s native island, in southern Italy. He relocated to North East England, a place he now regards as home, to learn English six years ago, and fell in love with the region, which he believes holds the same family values as his mother country.

“I feel like a visitor when I go back to Italy now, as the North East is my home. The values of the North East, a love of family and friends, feel the same as home. I think that’s what excites me about opening a restaurant in Sunderland.

“Mackem people have a strong sense of family and friendship and a deep attachment to their city. That love and passion is something I want to tap into, the whole experience I am creating in my restaurant is about family. I want to offer that warm welcome, relaxation.”

Vito’s move into hospitality began in front-of-house. He worked as a waiter when he arrived in the North East, but a lifelong love of Italian food led him into the kitchen where he honed his skills as a chef.

His career quickly advanced, and, having started as a sous chef in Gino D’Acampo’s restaurant, he quickly rose through the ranks to take up his current position as an executive chef. His experience front of house as well as in the kitchen means he is focused on the entire customer experience, with every small detail having been considered.

He continued: “I want people to see the kitchen. To feel like it is part of the experience when they dine with us. And I want the food, the atmosphere, to create memories for people. I am so excited about creating those experiences for people in Sunderland. I want to be the person who looks after people and who gives them that true taste of my home country.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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