Laura Zilli…. A word?

Hi Laura

I have to admit that before this week I hadn’t heard of you.  Forgive me.   Hardly surprising though as you are only 26 and have a “burgeoning modelling career”.   So how would our paths have crossed?  You appeared on my radar following this article.

Move over Nigella! Model Laura Zilli says she’s not only a better cook – her new show will teach you to look glam in the kitchen too

Now I have a problem with this on a couple of fronts.

The first, the title of this book.   “High Class Cooker”?  Really?  Is that the best that anybody could come up with?   You want your name to be a parody of a prostitute, do you?  Why not “Glamourous Chef” if you truly want to show us that we can cook in Jimmy Choos.

And quite frankly how many women that wear Jimmy Choos are wearing them in the kitchen to make a bowl of pasta?  Do we think this is what Tamara Mellon was doing every night?  Or Tamara Ecclestone  or Tamara Beckwith?  (is the reason I don’t have a pair the fact my name is Tanya and not Tamara?  Damn you mummy and daddy)

In the article your father (more about nepotism in a minute) says “this country has a problem with teenagers and their attitude to food”.   Actually Zilli family, I have a bigger problem with other attitudes our teenagers have in this country.   One of them is that I have a problem with using sex to sell anything.    A) the name likens you a call girl and B) the photo accompanying this article is this:

hmmmm  Doesn’t really sell cooking to me I am afraid.  It does sell that fact that you are indeed skinny and pretty.  But doesnt tell me anything about your prowess with a bain-marie.

The other thing this whole saga does is tell teenagers that you don’t necessarily have to work for a living, you just need a famous dad.

(Or to sleep with someone (see Natasha Giggs) or behave badly in public (see Frankie Coccozza).  But I digress.)

So the surname gives you away as being Aldo Zilli’s daughter.   Now there is no denying he is a fabulous chef and a shrewd businessman who has worked hard for a long time to get where he is today.

I think we can safely say that you have got your book deal and your TV programme on the back of that success and not because you are an exceptional cook.

You came up with this idea, it would seem, because you can make a pasta sauce.   Good grief.  And your recipes will tell us when we can leave pans bubbling and “go and get changed into glamorous clothes”.

Laura, Laura, Laura.    I am not denying you a career but as somebody who is clearly gorgeous, please go back to being a model.   Leave cookery shows and books to the hard working chefs up and down the country who have slogged their guts out for years, put their hearts and souls into making amazing food and would give their arm to have this opportunity.

Either that or Delia Smith is going to be semi naked in Vogue next month.

And we don’t want that, do we?



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  • Gosh! Never heard of Laura Zilli until now – thanks for the heads up as to who and what to avoid! I prefer to cook in a comfy ensemble. Right now, my cookie dough is resting in the fridge and I type this in my PJs and slippers. Bliss!

    I was overjoyed to learn on Monday that the amazing Marian Keyes has a book coming out on Feb 16th. No, not one of her super-block-buster unputdownable novels (we have to wait until November for the next one …) but a book on baking called “Saved By Cake”. Marian has been suffering with severe depression for the last 18 months or so, and has found strength through baking (something I can identify with). In her book, she has documented her dark times, the struggles and challenges she’s faced every day.

    Now there’s a REAL woman!


    • Oh how fabulous to hear that Marian Keyes is on the mend, I will look out for that book most certainly. I was only thinking about her the other day, and hoping she was getting better.

  • I bet she does all her housework in her fancy clothes too!
    This woman lives in cuckoo land.

  • Oooh, maybe you could get Delia to join in with The Calendar?
    Asfir the book, I’ll reserve judgment until I see it but of course even if it’s good it may have a good ghost writer.

  • Well said!
    Laura looks like the smell of a rasher would knock her over.
    The kitchen is the one place in the house I can relax, who in their right mind would wear their best bib and tucker only to get gravy down the front. Can you imagine the carnage if you slipped on a rogue piece of veg or oil spillage in your Jimmy Choos?
    Delia for the calender! Lets be having you! xx

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE This post!

    So funny, so incisive! Bravo Madam!

    Oh and @QueenofBiscuits? LOVE your comment too!