Chesterfield restaurant owner proposes on stage after winning hospitality award
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Giuseppe Barone, co-owner of Sicily Restaurant, popped the question to his business partner Monica Sardisco after being crowned Best New Hospitality Business at the Love Chesterfield awards.
Mr Barone said: “The proposal was all planned for if we won but if we didn’t win it wasn’t going to happen. I am very happy – for the award and for Monica saying yes.”
Ms Sardisco said: “He has been so good, it was very romantic. He surprised me, I noticed nothing at all.
“I’m very, very happy and now we have a wedding in Sicily to plan.”
Sicily is the inspiration for their restaurant, where Mr Barone works as the chef and Ms Sardisco runs front of house.
They opened in 2019 and survived by serving takeaway food throughout lockdown. Since reopening, their fresh homemade pasta and authentic Sicilian cuisine has been a hit with locals.
Ms Sardisco said: “We’re a small, family run restaurant. We did our best with takeaway during lockdown, which has been very helpful as now lots of people are coming to try our food inside.
“We’ve been very busy. We try to do our best and keep smiling all the time, and make sure people feel welcome and enjoy our food.
“We have regular customers who come every week and still come back, and this is the most important thing to us.”
Ms Sardisco said she and her fiancé were thrilled that their restaurant had been honoured at the awards ceremony, and wanted to say thank you to their staff.
“We are very happy, over the moon- we want to say thank you to our amazing staff. At this time especially, it is hard to find good staff in hospitality, so we want to thank them as well as our lovely customers.”
This does not mean that Sicily Restaurant is going to stand still - Ms Sardisco said they were already thinking of ways to improve the business.
“We want to try and grow the business. We plan to do some work on a new outside area, and we are planning to make changes to our menu next year- there’s a lot of stuff to come.”