Daughter, daughter

But YOU want a TV show!’

‘Of COURSE your piss is pickled! But no one else cares- she has great rack and sultry eyes! You’re just jealous cos you’re not purdey’.

I’m not you know. Jealous. Or for that matter,  pretty.

I’m sad. Actually sad, depressed, disillusioned and royally ticked off…… Because I want my own TV show? Not entirely. But, well, yes- of course I do- let’s be honest here- would you rather sweat your knackers off, cooking for people who don’t care, earning not much more than an hourly minimum wage, or prance around on telly earning some big bucks, with a book deal tied in? It’s a no brainer. Don’t judge me- ask yourself the same question. It’s so English not to admit what you want. I want a telly show- primetime telly. I want all the cash and an adoring public. I want a book deal that bears absolutely no correlation to the quality of my knowledge and writing ability.  And I don’t want to get up at 6.30 any more to start lunch prep. Oh. It turns out I am jealous. Who knew.

But I don’t have perky tits, a (mildly) famous father and ABSOLUTELY no moral qualms. In short I am not the fragrant Laura Zilli.

Here is the article that I read yesterday http://goo.gl/INoKX . Have a look. But do come back, I’m just warming up.

Have you read it? How do you feel? Do you have a tingling fury in your very marrow? I do.  About every crapulous sentence. The NAME for Christ’s sake. ‘High Class Cooker!’  Really? REALLY? You are going on telly promoting yourself as a whore. A slut. A prostitute. That’s nice. What a lovely message for the kids. What is she going to cook? Slag Aloo? Who is advising the poor girl? Her famously media savvy ‘celebrity chef’ father Aldo Zilli perhaps?

HIYA everyone!!!! I’m a High Class Hooker! An Expensive Slut! A Pricey Whore! It is mind boggling. Isn’t it? Am I being priggish? I’m not usually.

Is it her fault? Probably not. She’s just another fame hungry wannabe of the X factor generation. She has already appeared on the laughably awful Channel 4 ‘documentary’ ‘Seven Days’. Her Biography for that programme states thus:

 ’Laura is pursuing a music career and is as (sic) a singer songwriter With a large circle of friends, she loves to socialise in London and is often seen at exclusive events. Laura’s a country girl at heart and spends most of her weekends riding her horses. She is currently in a long distance relationship. Her father is renowned celebrity chef Aldo Zilli’

How’s the music career going Laura?


Oh well. I mean you only had prime time advertising on Channel 4 and your father’s connections. It’s tough out there and you wouldn’t want to lower yourself to being Cowell fodder or, you know, gig.

I know! Do some food telly!

Look. I’m sorry, this is just turning into a mean spirited attack on Miss Zilli and I have never met the girl. I’m sure she is quite charming. But why is she getting a food programme? Why? Because her father has a chain of mediocre to awful restaurants and plays the ‘celebrity’ card at every opportunity? Or because she is quite nice looking?


I’ll tell you some reasons that weren’t discussed in that particular commissioning meeting. Has she ever trained as a chef? Has she done double shift after double shift shucking oysters until her fingers bled? Has the energy of a professional kitchen caused her to succumb to drug abuse, depression or insomnia? Is she engaging on television? Likeable? Humble? Can she write an informative, fascinating and ground breaking book? Does she really CARE about food? Could she hold her own in an in-depth debate, with chefs about seasonality and provenance? Does she have a single recorded opinion about food or things culinary that is not contained in that Mail article?

Or is she a failed singer/songwriter with a pretty face and a Dad who once upon a time cooked average, overpriced food in Soho.

It’s a joke. A bad one. And it REALLY, really matters. And it’s not fair.

I feel sorry for people like Lorraine Pascale and Gizzie Erskine, who will get tarred with the same brush as Miss Zilli. Did they get on TV because they are beautiful? Well yes, that  probably helped. But they went to catering college; they have both worked in top restaurants. They both live and breathe FOOD. You can just tell. Laura Zilli just wants to be famous and you shouldn’t let her get away with it.

The average chef in this country earns £19,000 and works harder than you could possibly imagine. Depression and suicide is rife within the profession and Miss Zilli’s message to the lowly plebs is that it is OK to cook in Louboutins.

This isn’t about misogyny (though calling yourself a ‘high class cooker’ surely opens oneself to certain lines of criticism); it’s about modern life and everything I abhor about it. Hugh’s ‘Three Hungry Boys’ nonsense upset me greatly. And don’t get me started on those bloody Baker Boys. This isn’t about Laura Zilli being a woman. This is about Laura Zilli having no qualifications whatsoever and demeaning the profession that I so love with a tawdry piece of tabloid twattery that should never ever have seen the light of day.





Note: If you would like to see Aldo Zilli a. forget my name on live telly and b. admit that he cooked frozen broccoli in his awful (now defunct) vegetarian restaurant then google our names together.

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