These are difficult times for that peculiar breed of cuisinier that is the celebrity chef, so those surveying the takings with despair could do far worse than tear a leaf out of Aldo Zilli’s book.
The enterprising restaurateur (also the face of Philadelphia cream cheese) has appeared on the website of after-dinner speaking agency JLA, with the offer of a day-long kitchen workshop for corporate groups.
At a cool £300 per person ( plusVAT), customers get an appetite-inducing eight-hour shift in the Zilli kitchen, as well as a dawn trip to Billingsgate fish market and quick lesson in filleting their finds. “It started out as being an occasional thing for a bit of fun,” Zilli, left, explains. “But these days we have groups of ten about once or twice a month.”
His place at JLA puts him in lofty company. As well as a choice selection from among the kitchen glitterati, the London-based company represents such illustrious figures as Neil Armstrong, Sir David Frost and Nick Leeson (who may be less useful in a recession).