Star's food taster more than just a fad

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A school for butlers in London has found a food-taster for an American superstar worried about possible threats to his life.

The anonymous star asked the Ivor Spencer International School for Butler Administrators to hire him a full-time food taster who must be able to travel with him worldwide, tasting everything from take-away hamburgers to banquets. School chief Ivor Spencer said he spent several weeks looking until, while at a wedding in Beirut, he got talking to a chef who knew of an American-Lebanese man who worked for five years as a food-taster in the Middle East.

He contacted the man, who has been living in the United States, and speaks five languages. He starts work for the superstar this week.

Mr Spencer said of the job: "You are in the kitchens most of the time. When they go to a restaurant, it has to agree the food taster can stay in the kitchen watching the preparation of the food.

"Then I understand he must follow the waiter with the actual dish from the moment the chef puts the food on the plate. He tastes it downstairs before it goes up."

As well as tasting food at any event the star attends, the food-taster also samples everything dished up at home.

Mr Spencer said he could not disclose the star's name, but said he is based in the US and has homes in the south of France, Switzerland and Rome.

He is "most concerned about his security" and fears he could be targeted by a stalker or even an assassin.

"He is already a client of mine and has two of my butlers, a head butler and an assistant butler," said Mr Spencer.