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Rachel Khoo Book and Novel

Rachel Khoo - Author


Rachel Khoo is a graduate of Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in London. It was her passion for patisserie that lured her to Paris, where she obtained a pastry diploma. She then put her skills to use at the delightful Paris culinary bookstore and tea salon, La Cocotte, where she catered for book launches and hosted cookery classes. Working as a freelancer, she now travels the world working on a variety of projects, from workshops to catering for huge blue-chip client events to smaller, intimate pop-up restaurants. She writes a weekly recipe column for the Evening Standard.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

What inspired you to move to Paris?
A love of food and pastry in particular inspired me to give up my fashion PR job in London and move to Paris. I enrolled at La Sorbonne to learn french and Le Cordon Bleu to study pâtisserie – the rest, as they say, is history.

How do you keep your kitchen so organised?
As you might have noticed, my kitchen is small but perfectly formed! The key is to keep things really well organised so I make the most of the walls, storing food on shelves (some a little too high to reach which is where a step ladder comes in very handy). I also bought an island from Ikea which doubles up as an extra work surface for rolling out pastry, and as a storage space for all my pastry ingredients. I also use the outside of my kitchen window to store vegetables and potted herbs.

What tips do you have for keeping tidy in the kitchen?
Do away with any non-essential utensils; you don’t need a ton of knives, just a good chef’s knife, a paring knife and a bread knife fit in this category. If you wash up as you go, not only do you not have to finish your dinner and do a ton of dishes, but you can reuse your pots and pans as you go.

What is your favourite type of cuisine?
As well as French cuisine, I love Malay-Chinese food.

What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
I love cheese, in all its forms.

For The Little Paris Kitchen the filming all took place in your tiny studio apartment. Were those all your things or were they styled for the show?
Pretty much everything you see is mine. We had to rearrange things a little during filming to make room for the crew, but on the whole, what you see is a peek into my little Parisian home.

What lipstick do you wear?
At the moment Cherry Lush by Tom Ford and Schiap by Nars. Russian Red by Mac is an old time favourite too.

How are you not a heffalump living in the land of croissants and cheese?
I have the pleasure of living next to one of Paris’s best parks for jogging, Les Buttes Chaumont, so I try and keep fit to compensate for my cheese consumption. I also love yoga. I don’t tend to eat processed foods, they are just empty calories.

Where did you learn to cook?
My family always cooked a lot so I learned to love food from a young age. I then moved to Paris and trained at Le Cordon Bleu to learn the more technical aspects of pâtisserie.

Do you listen to music when you cook?
I love to listen to music while I’m cooking, actually it’s necessary, it’s essential! The kind of music I like to listen to depends on my mood, but I listen a lot to Gilles Peterson, who has a great radio show. Then it’s really quite eclectic: everything from old school hip-hop to electro, jazz and even classical music.

What’s your ideal meal for two on a Saturday night?
From my new recipe book, My Little French Kitchen, I love the slow roasted lamb with toasted buck wheat. And it’s got a little yoghurt dressing with mint, so it’s really fresh. It’s an easy dish to do, with not much prep in the kitchen. And then, for dessert, the semolina and prune crème brûlées (because that’s another thing you can prepare in advance) leaving you free to enjoy each other’s company and not having to spend too much time in the kitchen!

What’s your star style tip for the kitchen?
My star tip for the kitchen is probably avoid wearing white if you’re cooking, because I think that’s always a nightmare: especially if you’re messy! Actually, just wear an apron if you’re messy. And certainly wear something you’re comfortable in!

What other countries would you like to visit?
I would love to go to Japan. I’m really interested in the culture and the food – it’s just so different to what I know! Also, I would love to go to Brazil as well for the hot weather and beautiful people.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook by Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook
Rachel Khoo
Over 100 of Rachel Khoo’s recipes culled from her culinary travels, tried, tested and presented in her Kitchen Notebook, Illustrated with colour photographs and her own sketches Rachel Khoo’s aim is to get her readers to come out of their...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
Rachel Khoo's Sweet and Savoury Pates by Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo's Sweet and Savoury Pates
Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo provides recipes for savoury pates but more interestingly she also looks at sweet pates and spreads using fruits, chocolate, caramel and other lovely things. Making your own sweet spreads, curds and pates doesn’t get that much coverage in...
Format: Hardback - Released: 17/07/2014
My Little French Kitchen Over 100 Recipes from the Mountains, Market Squares and Shores of France by Rachel Khoo
My Little French Kitchen Over 100 Recipes from the Mountains, Market Squares and Shores of France
Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo leaves Paris for an exploration of regional France. She tours the countryside and villages, towns and seashore and shares some of the gorgeous food she found along the way.Like for Like ReadingFrench Provincial Cooking,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/10/2013
Rachel Khoo's Muesli and Granola by Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo's Muesli and Granola
Rachel Khoo
Sue Baker's View... French cuisine is not just a matter of fine dining, the French approach to food starts with breakfast – not forgetting daytime snacking when a little amuse bouche is what’s required. Rachel Khoo has come up...
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/10/2013

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