The Little Paris Kitchen is a big news, not only in Paris, but worldwide. Drawing on my gastronomical vice, especially TV cooking shows, I’ve continued my series of celebrity chef sketches.
This time it’s Gallic culinary artist, London born Rachel Khoo, who arrived in Paris four years ago after completing an Art and Design degree form Central Saint Martins to study patisserie at the Le Cordon Bleu (The Blue Ribbon), the world’s largest hospitality institution.
Her father is Malay-Chinese and her mother is Austrian so food was always an important part of Rachel’s life with her mixed cultural heritage creating some interesting family meals. “In Malaysia, they don’t ask how you are, they ask ‘have you eaten?'”she said in an interview.
With a degree in pastry she set up the French Capital’s smallest restaurant – La Petite Cuisine à Paris in her 21sq m flat in the hip Belleville District.
It could only host two diners at a time, but when a new lunch date advertised people responded within 20 seconds. I love the show. It has great production values, set in a picture-postcard artist’s garret, fun to watch, snobbish, great food present with infections enthusiasm by Rachel. She demystifies French cuisine by giving traditional dishes an ‘alt-Brit flavour’ and a fun, fresh approach. I recall the episode when she collected honey with a distinctive ‘city’ taste from the beehives on top of the Grand Palais – formidable!
Bon Ap! as Rachel would say.