Mystery surrounds the future of Michelin-starred restaurant Gambero Rosso in Italy, after it emerged that it has been closed for several weeks during the busy summer period.
The restaurant in San Vincenzo Tuscany is owned and operated by chef Fulvio Pierangelini and was voted 12th best in the world in 2008 and 27th best in 2009 in Restaurant magazine's Top 50.
Le Figaro restaurant critic Francois Simon went so far as to name Gambero Rosso his favourite restaurant in the world.
A spokesman for the Italian tourism board based in Tuscany told Caterersearch the restaurant has been closed for weeks because the owner had "gone on a world tour".
Speculation has variously suggested that the closure could be attributed to movement of location due to the demolition of the port, that Pierangelini is working as a consultant to hotels and that the restaurant is closed for restoration.
Pierangelini set up his restaurant with wife Emanuela working front of house in 1980, and has been behind the stove the five days a week ever since.
The self-taught chef is traditionally grounded in Tuscan food with a twist and his signature dish is chickpea puree and prawns.
Pierangelini was unavailable for comment.
By Gemma Sharkey
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