HIS passion for cooking stemmed from being by his grandmother's side in her little kitchen in Sardinia.

Family get togethers with people all pitching in and enjoying time together are one of the things Edinburgh-based chef Stefano Sanna misses about him.

The private chef and caterer who runs Shardana, like many others in his industry, found himself somewhat limited during lockdown.

Unable to go into people's homes or provide catering services, Stefano didn't lose his skill for coming up with new ideas and is planning a new element to his business now that lockdown is easing.

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It is just a few days since being able to offer private chef services returned and has been able to offer home deliveries. And he is looking to take what is traditionally a very British idea and put his own spin on it.

Stefano said: "Lockdown has given me time to think about developing the business and I would like to branch out into Italian style afternoon tea.

"Using fresh and flavoursome produce with a little twist to my home country is something I would like to develop."

At home in Sardinia, he explained that traditionally on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays we meet with everyone, where everyone in the family helps to prepare large and long lunches on holidays.

He added: "In seeing the gestures of an 80-year-old grandmother who prepares bread or fresh pasta with her young grandchildren, it was a meeting between two different eras, with one that continues to pass on traditions and gestures.

"Another very important thing that we acquire since we are children and we carry with us forever are the flavours that are left to us by our mothers and grandmothers and specifically if you ask people most will answer that "mamma is very good at cooking, but grandma is unbeatable even in front of the most starred chef in the world.""

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Stefano arrived in Edinburgh prepared to channel his passion for cooking into a business. Having watched his grandmother hang fresh pasta around her kitchen, Stefano has been cooking since his childhood.

He spent time honing his skills while cooking in various restaurants before he invested his savings and enrolled into Alama, the prestigious Italian cooking school. Here, Stefano expanded his armoury leading him to work in Michelin star restaurants. Stefano took the leap to open his own business and explore his passion further.

With a young family Stefano decided to leave Sardinia and chose to set up in Edinburgh where he has been based for the past seven years.

He said: "When I first arrived, I had a lot of fun doing street food markets and festivals and selling my products explaining historical and cultural reasons to both customers and restaurateurs. It is thanks to the street food that I made excellent acquaintances. I started doing private events, catering and that with the increase of work Shardana Food And Catering Limited was born. Restaurant life normally means long and unsocial hours, so I felt the catering firm would give us a better family life.

"I decided to come to Scotland because it has strong traditions but it is open to those of others, it is proud, it has a great history, a people that has always fought for freedom and the land live there, and then it has fabulous landscapes, mystics, which give strength. When I got here I already had in mind to do something for me to build something, to "travel" alone, but for the first few years of acclimatization I worked in excellent restaurants giving me time to understand the dishes, tastes, cuisine and people's trends, and then go to visit farms, farmers, fishmongers to understand what they produce, and how they produce it. Once stabilized I happily opened my company as a sole trader, initially I sold Sardinian products."

Shardana is based in Edinburgh but operates across the whole of Scotland and was launched with an aim to create delicious, modern food prepared using only the best local ingredients.

He added: “When I am in the kitchen, I like to create quality food through the enhancement of the natural flavours of each ingredient. For this reason, at Shardana, I always try to use products from local small farmers and artisans. This way, I’m sure of their high quality, and I am able to share their passion and love of the products.”

He added that the private events allow him to visit different parts of Scotland.

"I am entering beautiful houses and castles and I have a loving clientele, they are always kind, happy and smiling, I think because the context in which I find myself are days and special anniversaries made in very beautiful and very intimate places because there are no other strangers besides them, so I can concentrate only on them and give my best."