Karen Phillips in­vites the na­tion to din­ner in a new ITV show

The Jewish Chronicle - - PEOPLE -

IS KAREN PHILLIPS Bri­tain’s top host­ess? That is ex­actly what new ITV show House Guest at­tempts to find out.

The se­ries, which started on Mon­day, is search­ing for the na­tion’s best din­ner-party hosts. Five peo­ple from across the UK spend five nights com­pet­ing for the ac­co­lade — and a £1,000 prize. Each night, one of the hosts en­ter­tains the other four by cook­ing din­ner. One per­son is then picked to stay over for the night.

Con­tes­tants are scored on the qual­ity of their cook­ing, overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion and warmth of their wel­come. “It was quite an ad­ven­ture and a fun­packed week,” Mrs Phillips tells Peo­ple.

A North-Lon­don prop­erty con­sul­tant, Mrs Phillips runs her own Hamp­stead­based com­pany Karen Phillips & Co, but loves to cook and en­ter­tain when­ever she can. She saw the ad­ver­tise­ment for the show in her lo­cal bagel bak­ery. “I was at the counter pay­ing for a chol­lah or some­thing. There was a sign say­ing; ‘Do you love en­ter­tain­ing and cook­ing? If so, call ITV on this num­ber.’ And I thought, that’s me. I love en­ter­tain­ing and do it so much that I thought this would be sec­ond na­ture.” But the mother-of-two ad­mits that it was tough. Did she mind stay­ing over at a stranger’s home? “I have never stayed in a stranger’s house be­fore, but my hostesses made me feel very wel­come.”

The con­tes­tants are al­lowed to cook with the help of a cho­sen sous-chef. In Mrs Phillips’s case, she says she twisted the arm of her 26-year-old daugh­ter Alyson, who works as a pas­try chef at one of Gor­don Ram­say’s new ven­tures. They made a roast tomato soup with pesto puree, fol­lowed by pan-fried seabass served in lemon but­ter with salse verde and broc­col­ini. Dessert was a med­ley of cheese­cake, choco­late mousse and straw­ber­ries dipped in choco­late.

“And there was lots of wine and cham­pagne,” notes Amer­i­can-born Mrs Phillips, who is in her 50s. House Guest is on ev­ery day from Mon­day May 26 to Fri­day May 30 at 3pm on ITV1

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.