Aldo Zilli and Great Food Club at Fumo

Published October 15, 2012

Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli was at new Birmingham restaurant Fumo last week to announce his partnership with San Carlo, the family-owned group of Italian eateries.

Great Food editor Matt Wright (pictured left with Aldo) grabbed a chat with the Italian chef.

“With his new Cicchetti restaurants, Carlo Distefano [San Carlo founder] has taken the concept of Venetian tapas to a whole new level. I can’t wait to create some new dishes for the menu – it’s going to be great fun,” said Aldo.

Cicchetti has its roots in the bars of Venice, where the term is used to describe small dishes served casually with drinks. Fumo, and its sister restaurant Cicchetti Piccadilly in London, represent the first time the concept of Cicchetti has been placed at the heart of a restaurant’s offering.

Aldo, who formerly ran Signor Zilli and Zilli Fish in Soho, added: “This is my favourite kind of food – uncomplicated and totally delicious. Working with such a professional restaurant group allows me to express my passion and expertise. I am very proud to announce my involvement with the founder Carlo Distefano, as he is a man I respect greatly in business. Likewise he respects me for my cooking – what a great combination!”

Carlo Distefano, chairman of San Carlo Group, said: “With Aldo Zilli on board, the best has just got better! Aldo is one of the great characters on the London restaurant scene. He will be bringing his great love of Italian food to our restaurants and a lot of fun too.”

The Distefanos, with Carlo in the middle

San Carlo Group

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Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.