Rachel Khoo finds a home in Aus­tralia’s kitchens

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - HOLLY BYRNES NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Her Kitchen Note­book se­ries has taken Rachel Khoo from Paris to Prahran, but a seat at the My Kitchen Rules ta­ble has proved a free ticket to travel to all points around Aus­tralia.

And this Bri­tish-born, gyp­syat-heart loved ev­ery minute of it.

If our tourism poster boy, Chris Hemsworth, gets busy in Hol­ly­wood, you get the feel­ing Khoo would take his place in a New York minute.

“Aus­tralia is just my favourite place right now,” Khoo says.

“I wanted to come and live there at one point in my life, but then (first TV pro­gram) Lit­tle Paris Kitchen hap­pened, so now I’m try­ing to make it up.”

Tak­ing her place be­side MKR favourite Colin Fass­nidge (pic­tured right), Khoo says, was a pass­port to ex­plore more ex­otic flavours of Aus­tralia.

“When we were trav­el­ling around, it was def­i­nitely the dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents, es­pe­cially in trop­i­cal Queens­land ar­eas like Cairns which ex­cited me,” Khoo says.

“It was that di­ver­sity that I loved about Aus­tralia, the mix of dif­fer­ent foods. You’re al­ways go­ing to be sur­prised.”

Her week on air took three weeks of film­ing, clock­ing up plenty of fre­quent flyer miles but also stun­ning the TV new­bie who “didn’t re­alise we’d film such long hours”.

Bal­anc­ing the ex­haus­tive sched­ule with a few laughs with Fass­nidge, Khoo was de­ter­mined to stay nice and avoid the “nasty judge tag”.

“I hope my cri­tiques were con­struc­tive. I would never set out to be mean, that’s not my in­ten­tion. ‘OK, so you make a mis­take, but how can you learn from it? Here’s my ad­vice …’ They can take that on their culi­nary jour­ney,” Khoo says.

“Cook­ing is all about learn­ing. If you don’t take on peo­ple’s ad­vice then you’re not go­ing to evolve as a cook and I ap­ply that to my own cook­ing as well.”

While some chefs and food per­son­al­i­ties turn their nose up at shows like MKR, Khoo em­braces it, count­ing her­self among the show’s home cooks.

“The point about the TV land­scape th­ese days is there is that va­ri­ety. I think back to when I was watch­ing cook­ery shows when I was lit­tle and it was very much your home eco­nom­ics teacher try­ing to teach you how to make a shep­herd’s pie and it was so dull.

“It’s good to have lots of dif­fer­ent shows and some of which are fun, light­hearted and not too se­ri­ous.”

MY KITCHEN RULES, CHAN­NEL 7, SUN, 7PM, MON-WED, 7.30PM

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