A husband-and-wife behind a town Mediterranean restaurant have been recognised with one of the country’s top food accolades.
Cosmopolitan in Chorley has been awarded the Good Food Award for 2020.
Located in St Georges Street in the town centre, the venue has been run by husband and wife duo Recep and Vanda Tankut for the last decade.
“The process started around a year ago,” says Chorley native Vanda.
“They contacted me after a secret diner came down. They said they’d keep us informed and I didn’t think anything would come of it.
“But they checked out all the reviews online and they sent another person.
“We have always tried to do fresh food at all times. We’ve stuck to our guns.
“Some have told us we can reduce costs by doing this and that but I want my food to be the best. Profit doesn’t matter if you get customer complaints.
“So when they told us we’d won I couldn’t believe it. All the hard work was worth it.
“We have been open for 10 years now so it’s taken a long time to get here.”
Vanda and Recep – or ‘Reggie’ as he is known to loyal customers – decided to take on the restaurant 10 years ago after Vanda left her profession as a physiotherapist due to ill health.
The couple, who have been married for 26 years, met in the seven years that Vanda spent working on cruise ships.
The duo then lived in Turkey for 15 years before returning to Chorley 12 years ago.
“He pushed me into this and to work with him. I’d never been in the restaurant business before,” says 48-year-old Vanda.
“But I’m good with people and I love my food so I took the plunge.
“The two of us have grown old together – but not too old just yet!”
The awards, which were formed in 2002 aimed to synergise awards throughout the catering industry, are now revered throughout the country as sign of quality.
Businesses are judged on a number of factors such as customer feedback over the previous year, food hygiene standards and food quality.
A spokesman for the Good Food Award said: “Over the last twelve months we have evaluated customer feedback and these premises have demonstrated exceptional levels of food quality, service and value when compared to our industry benchmarks in their category.
“In recognition of this achievement they have been duly awarded the 2020 Good Food Award.
“The Cosmopolitan is a modern smart/casual restaurant, wine & cocktail bar in the heart of Chorley in Lancashire that serves globally inspired food from all around the world, using only the finest local ingredients.
“This unique independent restaurant has an extensive and varied menu including dishes ranging from traditional classics to unique culinary delights.”
Going forward, Vanda hopes the regeneration to Chorley will help business in the town centre.
“We now get to say we are one of the best in Chorley,” says Vanda.
“Now that the new M&S and cinema is opening I am really praying for better footfall because that’s what we need.
“I counted 32 empty shops in Chorley the other day.
“There are people with money but little incentive to come into Chorley – and it’s such a lovely place.
“The people too. Our regular customers are like family to us.
“I can go to every table and know everyone.
“It’s a social thing for me not just work. The Chorley people have kept us alive.”
• For more information visit www.thecosmopolitan.co.uk