Aldo Zilli recent (high res)A bit about our Celebrity judge, Aldo Zilli

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.

In 2012 Aldo helped launch upmarket Italian restaurant San Carlo Cicchetti in Manchester and London’s Piccadilly. He is now in partnership with San Carlo Group, with 14 restaurants in the UK and four abroad.

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. Aldo currently writes a weekly column of tips and recipes for the Daily Express newspaper’s Saturday magazine and is a Patron for the charity Bowel Cancer UK.

Aldo is regularly on TV and has appeared both as a chef and presenter. Shows include Ready Steady Cook and Daily Cooks Challenge 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, and BBC3’s The Real Hustle. He has also had slots on ITV1’s Alan Titchmarsh Show and Daybreak, and his own primetime ITV documentary Home Is Where The Heart Is. Most recently Aldo 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 in a new series for the Good Food channel. Aldo captivated the nation with his performances on Celebrity X Factor (ITV1), making it through to the later stages of the competition. He also gained a huge following on Celebrity Fit Club (ITV1), where he showcased his dynamic personality and led the successful team to victory, gaining a new slender figure in the process and sparking a passion for health and fitness which he still has today.

Aldo has worked with various brands, including Thomson Airways and Philadelphia. He also enjoyed a hugely successful relationship with Kellogg’s Optivita, appearing in several TV adverts and PR campaigns. His consultancy work includes that with Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo, where his 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 Zilli judges our Best Chef & Best Pizza categories in a set of live cook offs at The Cheshire Cookery School. Photos can be found here!