Stockbroker and restaurateur Giuliano Lotto was born in 1969 in Milan. He first came to England because his father, then Chief Executive of a big Italian insurance company, found himself on a Red Brigades’ hit list in the 1970s. The terrorist group kidnapped children of wealthy parents, demanding ransom payments.
As a precaution, young Lotto left Milan around 1973 for Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames where he took his A-levels in 1978. He then joined University College Buckingham (as one of the first students at this college founded by Margaret Thatcher). He graduated in economics and set out to pursue a career as a stockbroker.
A meeting with Claudio Pulze in 1992 made him realise that there were rich opportunities in catering. In September 1993, he became co-founder of the A-Z group of restaurants in partnership with Franco Zanellato and Claudio Pulze. The first restaurant, Aubergine at no. 11 Park Walk, Chelsea, won two Michelin stars under chef patron Gordon Ramsay.
The next two openings, Zafferano (1994) and L’Oranger (1996), also won Michelin stars. Success led to a fall out between the major players and ‘war’ between himself and Pulze. He continues his career as a prominent (international) restaurateur and commutes between London and Milan.