STAFF at a popular restaurant are "delighted" after being named one of the best Italian restaurants and cookery schools in Central England.

The Prestige Awards named Feli's Bar and Restaurant in Stoulton, near Worcester, as the best Italian restaurant and cookery school in the area.

Husband and wife duo Felice and Fiorinda Tocchini set up the business 20 years ago this year and said they are delighted with the announcement.

"I think it is nice to be recognised," said Mrs Tocchini.

Worcester News: Felice TocchiniFelice Tocchini (Image: Fiorinda Tocchini)"We have been in the trade for a long time, and it is nice for the team to be acknowledged for their hard work.

"Even after all we did over the years, we never really shout about it as we just enjoy what we do.

"We (Mr and Mrs Tocchini) have worked together for 20 years and we have been together for 40 years.

"We know each other very well and complement each other's strengths and find compromises.

"I am his number one fan, and he is so passionate about food - it is the love, I think, which creates something just wow.

Worcester News: The restaurant also makes pizza kits for schools to raise money for the Parent Teacher Association. The restaurant also makes pizza kits for schools to raise money for the Parent Teacher Association. (Image: Felice Tocchini)"We are delighted and it is exciting we managed to get to 20 years."

This is now the second year in a row the restaurant has won Italian Restaurant of the Year, but the first time it has also been recognised for its teaching.

Worcester News:

Mr Tocchini has been teaching in the industry for the past 17 years and has been using his skills to teach his pupils how to make cheap, healthy and quick meals.

The business also teaches children cookery skills and has previously teamed up with Malvern Cube to deliver this.

Mrs Tocchini added the restaurant employs a lot of young talent, which both see going far in the industry.

"They are good, and we do not pay minimum wage, we pay them what they deserve," she added. 

"Felice was a head chef when he was 16 years old.

"What we do is look for someone who is passionate and who cares."

The award-winning county restaurant launched an all-you-can-eat Italian menu to help tackle the cost of living crisis in September.

Mrs Tocchini said the idea to implement the menu in the restaurant came after a visit to Italy in the summer.

She said at the time: "The idea behind our apericena is a new way of enjoying fresh food, trying various dishes and socialising at an affordable price."

The restaurant will collect its award in spring.