Our Story

Inspired by an idyllic day in Florence and tucked away within the cobbled courtyard of Tickhill’s St Mary’s Court, Roccos Italian Kitchen has been wining and dining its loyal guests for over a decade.

The second restaurant to open under the Ziniz Group umbrella, our 185 seats are spread over two floors of lovingly designed interiors and an alfresco terrace.

Our story starts with the Calzini family, originally from Montepulciano and Cortona in Tuscany, Italy, who have been introducing the flavours of Italian cuisine in England since 1960 when Dante opened Newcastle’s first Italian restaurant.

Dante’s parents, Primo & Cleofe
Young Dante
Dante bringing Italian cuisine to the North since 1960
Zia Vera (Dante's sister)
Mirella making fresh pasta in the kitchen at the family’s Hotel Ristorante Portole in Cortona
Zia Aurora (Dante’s sister) still making fresh gnocchi at the age of 92
Dante with brother Franco
The Nonnas
Young Claudia, Sofia & Marco outside flagship restaurant Ziniz
Olive visiting Alessandro at his Doncaster pubs Scruffy Murphys & AD 43
Alessandro & Jules in the early days
Alessandro’s sister Manuela (who stayed in Italy) with Dante
Dante visiting Dante’s Italian for the first time

A Family Tradition

Continuing the family tradition, our director Alessandro, son of Olive and Florentine chef Dante, launched his flagship restaurant Ziniz in 2000 (which made The Times list as “One of the top ten Italian restaurants in the UK), before going on to open Roccos Italian Kitchen, Dante’s Italian, and The Herbalist.

Previously with one of Britain’s largest brewing dynasties Joshua Tetley and a move which eventually brought him to Doncaster in 1992 at the age of 25, Alessandro then opened his very first business venture (an Italian coffee shop) in the town centre in 1998.

But with a passion for food ignited growing up in the heart of Florence and every summer spent in Siena, Tuscany known for its rolling hills and infinite flavours, his dream was always a restaurant.

Generations of Italian Food Makers

Since 2000, Alessandro has dedicated his brand to the family history and their recipes which have been inherited from generations of authentic, artisan Italian food makers, and the group of award-winning restaurants has grown in its two decades, now joined by third generation of the Calzini family and employing more than 100 people locally.

Children Claudia, Sofia, Marco and Rocco all work within the company and share the same pride and love for the business that Alessandro and wife Jules have built.

“All our dishes are made fresh in our kitchen, the same way my Nonna Cleofe and father Dante taught me. Skills and passion I have passed onto two of my children, Sofia and Marco, who are now at the helm of the family business kitchens”. Claudia also works closely with Alessandro heading operations and learning the business side of the company, whilst Rocco has just started his first weekend job at Roccos, which is entrusted under the management of our wonderful General Manager Alison.

When we say we’re family-run, we really mean it, and we are so happy to share our journey with you.

Alessandro & daughter Sofia
Alessandro, daughter Sofia & son Marco
Head Chef Sofia in her kitchen at Dante’s Italian
Head Chef Marco in his kitchen at Roccos Italian Kitchen
Claudia at the Restaurant Awards
Young Rocco helping out in Sofia’s kitchen