Template:Infobox restaurant Zafferano is an Italian restaurant located in London, and was originally run by Giorgio Locatelli on behalf of A-Z Restaurants until 2005. The restaurant was awarded one Michelin star in 1999, which it held until this star was stripped from it 2012.
Zafferano was opened by chef Giorgio Locatelli in February 1995 in Knightsbridge, London.<ref name=passionforpasta/> The restaurant's name comes from the Italian for saffron.<ref name=fastmover /> The location had previously been a fish restaurant, but under Locatelli the new restaurant served Italian food.<ref name=passionforpasta>Template:Cite news</ref> The major investor in the restaurant was Claudio Pulze, who owned the restaurant through his company A-Z Restaurants. Locatelli's pay was based on percentage of the overall performance of the restaurant.<ref name=fastmover>Template:Cite news</ref> Chef Angela Hartnett worked at the restaurant as she rotated around the A-Z Restaurants range of establishments.
The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the list published in 1999.<ref name=restawards2001>Template:Cite news</ref> While as chef-proprietor of Zafferano, Locatelli was named the Outstanding London Chef of 2001 at the London Restaurant Awards,<ref name=restawards2001/> but shortly afterwards left the restaurant following disagreements with new head of A-Z Restaurants, Giuliano Lotto. Andrew Needham took over as head chef, having previously been sous chef to Locatelli.
After A-Z Restaurants went into administrations in November 2004, Locatelli stated publically that he was interested in purchasing Zafferano.<ref name=receivers>Template:Cite news</ref> The group, including Zafferano, was sold back to Claudio Pulze with new partner John De Stefano. In 2007, Pulze sold his share of the company to De Stefano. The restaurant expanded during the same year, and opened a delicatessen.
The restaurant's menu is influenced by the previous restaurants which Locatelli worked at, including The Savoy Hotel and at Olivio, where the menu was centred around Italian peasant foods.<ref name=passionforpasta/> It initially launched with a series of set price menus, with the idea that the menus would be changed on a monthly basis.<ref name=fastmover /> The dishes avoid using butter as an ingredient, only one dish in the original 1995 menu was served with butter—a dish of pappardelle pasta with chicken livers and sage.<ref name=fastmover />
Desserts have included strawberries drizzled with sixty-year-old balsamic vinegar. Although saffron fibres are woven into the covers of the bill cover, the process was too expensive to repeat for the covers of the menus.<ref name=fastmover /> Between 1997 and 2005, the average cost of a meal at the restaurant increased by 65%, from £34 to £56.
Matthew Norman, writing for The Telegraph in 2003, described it as "one of the best restaurants around", although he did criticise the attitude of its staff. In 2011 Time Out gave the restaurant four out of five stars, but thought it was quite expensive. It was awarded three AA Rosettes in 2009. In 2011, the restaurant was named 55th in the list of the top restaurants in the UK by The Good Food Guide.