Clean Business Cuisine

The Sunday Times Book of the Week

“Highly entertaining . . . wonderfully daft . . . hilariously sophisticated stuff.”

— DJ Taylor
“Zen and the Ancient Art of Making Yen”

How to manage organisations, motivate people and make a quick buck: the eternal Z/Yen questions. As with many ancient questions, the answers have been locked away in obscure Eastern texts that have only recently re-emerged. At last, these excerpts from The Z/Yen Papers, modernised and re-published as Clean Business Cuisine, reveal to our age the one true path(s) to enlightenment. Today, with the benefit of these teachings, businesses everywhere will thrive and the course of history will be irrevocably improved.

Clean Business Cuisine: Now And Z/Yen is a novel modelled as a rediscovered ancient business text. It comprises a series of stories (or case studies) set around the workings of an ancient laundry and restaurant and its legendary proprietor, Chao Kli Ning. Each story is based on a simple duality, centralisation versus decentralisation, managing people or managing results, technology is wonderful or technology is useless. Clean Business Cuisine is firmly grounded in management theory and practice, served up in a wry, light hearted manner for the general reader to enjoy.

Clean Business Cuisine is a uniquely enjoyable yet informative read, perfect for managers, students and anyone interested in enlightenment. The design of this book is stunning – a great gift.


ISBN: 1 84059 227 3
Format: Firm-cover paperback with illustrations
Size: 198 x 210 mm, 160 pages
Publication: 1 July 2000
UK Price: £14.99
4 to 24 copies: £9.50 each.
25 to 100 copies: £7.50 each.
over 100 copies: negotiable.
Subjects: Management / Fiction
Ordering: Faxback (see More Information for Order Form)
Tel: +44 (0) 207-562-9562

Some of over 60 Rave Reviews:


  • "Surprisingly funny considering it is written by a couple of accountants."
    – 'Between the Covers'. Accountancy Age, page 36. 14 March 2002.
  • "Entertaining and excellent spoof…worth buying as a present for a colleague or customer."
    – Graham Hutton. Long Range Planning, Vol 34 (Issue 2). Pages 268-269 (April 2001).
  • "Shows how business acumen can be successfully combined with humour, fun and a distinct lack of regard for convention . . . Very sharp and even witty."
    – Ruth Sachs. 'Kli Ning Up and Dum Ing Don', Strategy. Page 21, (September 2000).
  • "Cleverly constructed and amusingly related, this will appeal across the board."
    – Ingrid Fisher. 'Best of the Rest', Venture. Page 202 (September 2000).
  • "It’s a must for any management student . . . It really does make management studies fun while simultaneously covering all the main topics."
    – Lucy Cole. 'Dealing with Dirty Laundry', Kaleidoscope. Page 26 (Autumn 2000).
  • "Firmly grounded in management theory and practice . . . Design is stunning."James Bayliss. 'Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen', Business World. Page 18 (August 2000).
  • "Clean Business Cuisine is the 1066 and All That of management."
    – Francis Beckett. 'No More Chinese Laundry Blues', Ambassador. Page 32 (September 2000).
  • "Surprisingly funny considering it is written by a couple of accountants."
    – Alex Smith. 'Clean Business Cuisine', Business Age. Page 126 (September 2000).
  • "Light style and unforced humour."
    – David Shirreff. 'Fishy path to enlightenment', Euromoney. Page 6 (August 2000).


  • "A fascinating book with fascinating accolades."
    – Becky Anderson. World Business This Morning, CNN (7 August 2000).
  • "A recipe for success."
    – Heather Scott. Sky News (1 September 2000).

Celebrity Endorsements:

  • "Clean Business Cuisine offers advice on business principles and practices in a highly imaginative and entertaining way. It will amuse and fascinate business managers, students of management and anyone interested in life."
    – The Baroness Dunn of Hong Kong and Knightsbridge (July 2000).
  • "A very lighthearted, entertaining read that would make an ideal gift."
    – The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben (September 2000).

Click here to see more reviews.


  • Prologue: Z/Yen Things You Always Wanted to Know About Business
  • Chapter One: Centralisation/Decentralisation – Confederal Unity
  • Chapter Two: Technology – Gizmo’s Big Adventure
  • Chapter Three: Human Resources – People Are for Turning
  • Chapter Four: Continuous Improvement – Quality is Free
  • Chapter Five: Management Information – The Question of Hu
  • Chapter Six: Leveraged Growth – Brothers in Alms
  • Chapter Seven: Strategy – The Greeks Have a General Word for It
  • Chapter Eight: Commercial Ethics – Kli Ning’s Principle Problem
  • Chapter Nine: Sales and Marketing – Saving Faith
  • Chapter Ten: Risk/Reward – Fat Chance’s Risky Business
  • Epilogue: See You, Z/Yen.
  • Poster - Terracotta Warriors
  • Images - Gallery

About the Authors:

Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris are founders/directors of the risk/reward management firm Z/Yen and the modern scions of Chao Kli Ning’s dynasty. Before reaching total Z/Yen enlightenment, Michael and Ian’s monastic duties included service as management consultants and corporate strategists, advising businesses and organisations on the one true path(s), as well as writing and contribution to numerous business publications.

More Information:

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