EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Gino D'Acampo leaves nasty taste with out of pocket firm trends now
Gino D'Acampo has such a friendly face that ITV chose him to host a revamped version of game show Family Fortunes.
Yet the smiley TV chef can barely show his face around suppliers of his failed chain of Italian restaurants.
Last month, My Pasta Bar went into liquidation, owing almost £5 million, including £113,000 to HMRC and £37,000 in wages and holiday pay to staff.
Now, a boss of one of the 49 businesses owed money has spoken out against D’Acampo, 46, claiming that, in his opinion, the chef is unfit to be on the board of a business.
Last month, My Pasta Bar went into liquidation, owing almost £5 million, including £113,000 to HMRC and £37,000 in wages and holiday pay to staff. Now, a boss of one of the 49 businesses owed money has spoken out against D’Acampo (pictured), 46, claiming that, in his opinion, the chef is unfit to be on the board of a business
‘It’s outrageous,’ says the creditor, who wishes to remain anonymous for now. ‘Gino trades on his fame, and a lot of the small firms might think he’ll pay them back because of that.
‘Well, I’ve got news for them — he won’t. ‘I wouldn’t lend money to him again, no. Thankfully, we are a reasonable sized company and, while we don’t like to lose money, we can afford it. But a lot of the people who have supplied his businesses are artisans. He’s supposed to be offering high-quality produce. If they don’t pay their debts, they’ll go bust.’
The businessman adds: ‘I would certainly question D’Acampo’s fitness to be a director of a limited company, that’s for sure.’
A separate business, Gino D’Acampo’s My Restaurants, had to be rescued last year with a £12.9 million bailout by co-investors including Iceland bosses Sir Malcolm Walker and Tarsem Dhaliwal.
D’Acampo, who declines to comment, urged people last year to stop blaming Covid for business failings.
However, last month he claimed the pandemic was the reason for My Pasta Bar’s closure, saying: ‘We tried it for ten years and then Covid came around and I thought, “You know what? We have to close.” ’
When the Daily Mail ran an investigation last month into the chaotic governance of Sistah Space, the charity founded by Ngozi Fulani, the woman who accused Prince William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey of racial ‘abuse’ at a Buckingham Palace reception, a spokesman insisted its affairs were now in order.
The charity said: ‘In our March 2021 trustee report, we were open and transparent about the staffing problems we have faced since the start of the pandemic, which led to some issues with the reporting of our accounts, but we have since engaged an independent accounting firm with the aim that won’t happen again.’
So I am surprised to learn that Sistah Space is late filing its latest accounts. ‘Charity reporting is overdue by seven days,’ confirms the Charity Commission.
No one at Sistah Space was available for