KHOO CALM AND COLLECTED AMID THE HUSTLE
AS quarter- life crises go, running away to Paris is a pretty chic option.
For television’s newest cooking queen, Rachel Khoo it was the fi rst step on her way to building a food empire which now includes three cookbooks, translated into 14 languages, and a series of gourmet travel shows drawing legions of fans around the world. A childhood fondness for baking, fostered by her Austrian grandmother who fed her family on apple strudels, turned into Khoo’s ticket to fame.
But the 34- year- old doesn’t mind admitting it took some “major hustling” to turn her TV and publishing dreams into a lucrative career.
She admits she started by fl irting her way through Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, and continued four years later when she sent a package of chocolate biscuits to executives at BBC Bristol, tempting them with her cooking talents while impressing with her chutzpah.
Travelling to Sydney and Melbourne two years ago, she showed the same initiative – staging pop- up restaurants which married her passion for cooking with local tapestry and design festivals staged at the time.
“It came down to hard work, knocking on doors and trying to make things happen,” Khoo says.
Her travelling and habit of collecting menus, food photos and even napkins inspired Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook, a 10- part series exploring cuisine capitals including Barcelona, Nice, Stockholm and Istanbul.
“It’s always about discovering something new about your surroundings, and then taking that inspiration and making something delicious,” Khoo says.
“As a viewer, you should be able to see where I fi nd my inspiration and how I contained that in a recipe.”
Her latest stop is another series for SBS fi lming now in Melbourne – a favourite food destination for the Londoner – which will air later this year.
“The last time I came here I was just astounded by the variety. There’s so much Melbourne has to off er.”