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Adopted Mancunian restaurateur launches podcast on ‘how to become a Manc’

New podcast Becoming a Manc is a sneak peek behind the scenes of the hospitality industry during a challenging time
Mauricio Cecco on Becoming a Manc podcast

Thousands of people move to Manchester every year. They come for lots of different reasons. To work, to study, but definitely not for the weather.

But how do you become a Mancunian? One person who should know is Maurizio Cecco.

If you love good Italian food – and who doesn’t? – you’ve probably eaten in one of his restaurants. He is a familiar face on the Manchester food and drink scene. He’s the owner of Salvi’s and the man behind Festa Italiana, the annual celebration of good Italian food.

Travelling the world

Maurizio arrived in Manchester in 1992 after he finished catering college in Sorrento, Naples. He dreamt of travelling the world so his teacher, who had a friend who owned a restaurant in Manchester,  sent Maurizio to work here for six months to learn some English.

He loved Manchester and made it his home. He met his wife and business partner Claire and his life changed forever.

Together, Maurizio and Claire spotted a gap in the market for authentic, high quality Italian produce and the Salvi’s (named after Maurizio’s dad, Salvatore) idea was born. Maurizio heard about a unit to let in the Corn Exchange, the Salvi’s Deli found a home and the rest is history.

They now have three successful restaurants in the city centre and their celebration of Italian food and drink Festa Italiana welcomes around 40,000 people each year.

Becoming a Manc Podcast

Now the adopted Mancunian, who says he was ‘born in Italy, made in Manchester’ has announced a brand-new podcast.

Becoming a Manc is a sneak peek behind the scenes of the hospitality industry via a series of honest and open conversations with the owners of some of the city’s best concepts, brands, and venues.

The first three-episode mini-series is out now and sees Maurizio chew the fat with Marcello Distefano, managing director of one of the UK’s largest family-owned restaurant groups San Carlo, Claudio Ribeiro, founder of the ever-popular brunch spot Federal Cafe, and one half of the brother-sister duo behind modern Chinese takeaway concept blending eastern and western influences Salt & Pepper, Cash Tao.

With over 30 years experience in the Manchester hospitality industry, Maurizio has seen it all and knows exactly what it takes to become a Manc. With his warm charm, wry smile, and knack of asking all the right questions, he and his guests take us with them as they talk about their inspirational experiences of surviving the devastating impacts of Brexit, the pandemic, and a cost of living crisis, as well the hard work and sacrifice required to make their customers happy, and nearly killing the Incredible Hulk. That one needs to be heard to be believed.

Becoming a Manc aims to help us understand where the concepts come from, the journey of the people who created them, the passion and hard work that has been poured into themand the massive obstacles that have been overcome for them to be accepted in Manchester and survive in such a competitive industry.

As Maurizio says: “In Manchester it’s raining all the time. If you stop, you get wet. If you run, it’s fine.”

‘I love Manchester’

“I love Manchester,” says Maurizio. “It is my home and I am so proud to be a part of the hospitality industry here. It is absolutely thriving. Becoming a Manc will give you a little sneak peek behind the scenes and show you how hard business owners have worked to survive and provide you with some of the best food and drink in the city.

“We all do what we do because we are passionate about hitting high standards and pleasing our customers but it is not always easy, and some very funny things happen along the way. I hope that getting the inside track on some of your favourite restaurants will make you love them even more.”

The first 3-episode mini-series is available from Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube, with more to be released soon:

Apple Podcasts: click here
Spotify: click here
YouTube: click here
For more information follow @becomingamanc on Instagram.

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