THE LITTLE PARIS KITCHEN: Monday 19 March, 8.30pm,Â BBC2,Â
Six years ago Rachel Khoo made the move from Croyden to Le Cordon Bleu, leaving her job as a fashion PR to train as a patisserie chef. Having established a successful ârestaurantâ? in her tiny home, she has now managed to get herself onto BBC2 to taunt us all with her beautiful bijou flat as we lollop on our sofa eating take-away in Grotsville, Dumpshire.
Forget butch bakery lessons with The Fabulous Baker Brothers or diet celery sticks with Lorraine Pascal, âbutter makes everything betterâ? according to Khoo whose recipes put a quirky twist on French classics. And itâs all really rather lovely to watch.
Our spritely half Chinese-Malay, half Austrian hostess with the mostess is a highly-skilled (if unlikely) French pastry chef and is never to be seen without rouged lips/something polka dotty on her person. Cuter than the raspberry and lemon madeleines which she painstakingly whips without the aid of an electric risk (it IS the 1940s after all), the first glowing frames of Khoo twizzling about in her tiny kitchen may have you seriously concerned about your blood sugar levels. But it is worth sticking out if only for the Coq Au Vin Barbecue Sticks.
And then there are the blasphemous Croque Madame muffinsâ¦this truly is indulgent and rebellious French cookery from an era when “le calories” did not exist.
The camera is seriously in love with Khoo and her penchant for vintage Parisian glamour. But for all Khooâs cutesy styling and chipped crockery, the fact that she is a hard-working woman with a raucous personality to boot saves the whole thing from turning into a Sophie Dahl-esque paaaasta-and-poetry vom-a-thon.
For all her pastry-making prowess and red lippy, it is the fact that Khoo managed to escape drudgery and make a success of “the French dream” which makes this programme such compulsive viewing. By the end of the programme, you may find yourself involuntarily Googling âflights to Parisâ? and researching the price Le Corden Bleu patisserie courses ($17,900 – I checked).
Khoo has already taken French cuisine by storm and armed with her swooning camera team and some crackly Edith Piaf records â itâs only a matter of time before the British public succumb to her charms as well.