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The Herald, who are our media partner, recently covered the Scottish Italian Awards outlining Aldo Zilli joining the judges of the event:

‘CELEBRITY chef and restaurateur Aldo Zilli will put finalists through their paces in the Scottish Italian Awards.

Excitement is building around the second year of the contest, which has added extra categories, a bigger venue and the chance for winners to compete in a brand new UK-wide final.

Event organiser Warren Paul explained: “We’re delighted that Aldo Zilli has come on board as part of the judging panel. He is a very well-known name and a fantastic chef, so it’s great to have his support.”

Aldo will judge the best pizza restaurant and best chef categories, putting the finalists in the latter through a “Hell’s Kitchen” scenario before announcing the winner.

Mr Paul added: “Last year the chefs got to cook for the judges in their own surroundings – this time, we are taking them out of their comfort zones and asking them to recreate one of Aldo’s dishes in front of him at the Cook School in Ayrshire.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them – but it will be nerve-wracking.”

The success of the Scottish Italian Awards – a capacity audience of 630 people attended last year’s final – has prompted organisers to branch out further afield.

The first ever English Italian Awards will be launched in Manchester next spring.

Mr Paul said: “Our aim is to invite some of the Scottish finalists to compete against the English winners, with the aim of being crowned British Italian champions. It’s a fantastic incentive for businesses to take part this year.”‘

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