In My Own Words with… celebrity chef and food writer Rachel Khoo: 'My biggest flaw is working too much!' - Exclusive

Ahead of the launch of TV series Rachel Khoo’s Simple Pleasures, we asked the celebrity chef a series of deep and meaningful questions to try and get to know her a little bit better…

By Sophia Moir Published: 30 June 2020 - 5.25pm
Food Network

From The Little Paris Kitchen on BBC Two to Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix, Rachel Khoo is fast becoming one of the UK's most in-demand celebrity chefs.

The London-born chef, food writer and TV host is back on our screens with a brand new show, Rachel Khoo's Simple Pleasures, creating effortless, mouth-watering dishes that she loves to cook at home. 

Speaking exclusively to BT.com, the mother-of-two reveals how she's been surviving lockdown with her family, what she wanted to be when she was growing up, her proudest career moment, and loads more... 

Rachel Khoo: In Her Own Words

My favourite dish from Rachel Khoo's Simple Pleasures is... The pan-fried dumplings. This is a hybrid of the Nicois ravioli daubois (ravioli filled with leftover Provincial stew) and an Asian potsticker. They're utterly moreish and the bonus is that it uses up leftovers.

My go-to store cupboard ingredient that everyone should have is… That’s a hard one as I have a lot of favourites. I do love a good vinegar (apple cider or sherry vinegar). It really helps to lift a dish - and not just salads. 

My favourite moment from filming Rachel Khoo's Simple Pleasures is… Just starting filming! There were so many things that could have stopped us from filming, so that was the nerve racking part. Once we were rolling, it ran like clockwork.

I've been surviving lockdown by… Enjoying just a slower pace to life. Simple things like seeing peonies - my favourite flowers - bloom in the garden.

My favourite thing to do with my family during lockdown is… Just pottering around in the garden.

My family's favourite meal during lockdown is… Fish fingers (hence them being in the series).

The best piece of advice I've ever been given is… Stay true to yourself no matter what. 

The thing that motivates me to get up and out of bed each morning is… I don’t have a choice with two kids under four years old! There’s no way you get a lie-in [Khoo has two children with husband Robert Wiktorin].

When I was growing up, I wanted to be… A teacher, physiotherapist, politician, graphic designer, art director and food stylist (starting from primary school up to University).

If I could fly anywhere now, it would be to… Austria to see my parents.

The one piece of advice I’d give to my younger self is… Embrace the ‘failures’. They’re not really failures but just challenges, and can be used to grow.

My proudest career moment to date is…  There's too many but the most recent is this series, Simple Pleasures, which I pitched and executively produced as well as presented. It took multi-tasking to another level.

My dream dinner party guests are… My Austrian grandma, mum and aunt. My grandma was a major food inspiration but she passed away before I made it in the culinary world.

The meaning of happiness for me is… Being at peace with oneself.

My perfect Sunday is… Having a lazy lie-in followed by fresh pain au chocolat from my local bakery, then lunch with family and friends. Afterwards walking to the local gelateria for ice cream and then finishing the day with a warm bath, cup of tea and a good book.

My favourite family tradition is… A new year’s sauna and swim in the lake - sometimes you have to break the ice and it’s more of a quick dip. It’s so invigorating!

My biggest flaw is… Working too much.

My best feature is… My laugh.

From a career point of view, the thing I still want to achieve is… Finding a better work/life balance.

Rachel Khoo’s Simple Pleasures premieres Thursday July 2 at 9pm, exclusively on Food Network.

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