Aldo Zilli is an award-winning celebrity chef and restaurateur who specialises in Italian, vegetarian and seafood cuisine. One of nine children, he was born in the small seaside town of Alba Adriatica in the central Italian region of Abruzzo and first learnt Italian home cooking from his mother in Italy and catering college.
He was the founder and chef-patron of some of London’s most exciting and innovative restaurants, Signor Zilli, Zilli Fish, Zilli Green, Zilli Café and Zilli Bar. His Italian seafood restaurant, Zilli Fish, was a Soho institution and had been open for over 15 years until March 2012 when Aldo decided to hang up the chef’s whites and embark on other ventures.
Aldo is currently working with the San Carlo Group as their executive chef, offering his advice and expertise alongside devising new seasonal menus for their numerous restaurants, particularly Cicchetti in Manchester, London’s Piccadilly, and Covent Garden.
Aldo has written 10 books including two autobiographies, ‘Being Zilli’ and ‘My Italian Country Childhood’, as well as various cook books with his signature Italian recipes. His latest book, ‘Fresh & Green: Over 100 New Exciting Vegetarian Recipes’ was featured in the Telegraph’s Top Ten Cookery Books 2012.
He currently writes a weekly column of tips and recipes for the Daily Express newspaper’s Saturday magazine and every Sunday for The Sun, and also presents a weekly show on Soho Radio.
Great food and Aldo’s exuberant personality means he appears regularly on television and radio both as presenter and chef. His extensive credits include Ready Steady Cook, Daily Cooks Challenge, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, This Morning, Lorraine, and Daybreak for ITV, Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is, and Country Show Cook Off for BBC2, Step up to the Plate, Eating in the Sun, Sunday Life, and The One Show for BBC1, Channel 5’s Family Recipe, UKTV’s Market Kitchen, BBC3’s The Real Hustle, and his own primetime ITV documentary Home Is Where The Heart Is. In Sicily with Aldo and Enzo, he and fellow chef Enzo Oliveri embarked on a culinary journey across Sicily, cooking up delights in Mount Etna, Trapani and the island’s capital, Palermo for the Good Food Channel. He captivated the nation with his performances on Celebrity X Factor (ITV), making it through to the later stages of the competition, and also gained a huge following on Celebrity Fit Club (ITV), where he showcased his dynamic personality and led his team to victory, gaining a new slender figure in the process and sparking a passion for health and fitness, which he still has today.
He has worked with many brands, including Thomson Airways and Philadelphia. He had a hugely successful TV ad campaign with Kellogg’s Optivita. His consultancy work includes that with Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo, where his award winning VIPizza has proved extremely successful and led him to collaborate with M Kitchen at Morrisons supermarket nationwide where he now has eight products in their range, including DIVO cheese.
Aldo has been a strong supporter of a number of charities over the years and is currently Patron for the charity Bowel Cancer UK.
"Aldo demonstrated making various dishes and sauces including lamb ragu, clams, lobster risotto and carbonara. We tasted all of the dishes he prepared (just to make sure they were okay)... they were all fantastic. (..) At 3.30pm this truly inspirational day was over - and the budding chefs were looking forward to trying out the techniques on family and friends."
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