Rachel Khoo Discusses the Joys of Swedish Fika, Diversity in TV Production, and Giant Bourbon Biscuits


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When chef and food writer Rachel Khoo isn’t running in -12 degrees Stockholm, she is creating TV

shows, writing cookbooks, judging The Great British Menu, and being a mum (not necessarily in that

order). In other words, she’s a force of creative nature intent on using 2021 for self-improvement

and developing a whole host of new work projects. In this episode of The Filling with Anna Barnett

podcast, Zooming in from her home in the Swedish capital, Rachel shares her experiences; from her

previous life in fashion PR, to her first TV show filmed from her Paris flat, to prioritising diversity in

her production teams. This is an episode full of appetite, work/life balance, and chat about butter!


21:00 – 25:00) Rachel details her life in Stockholm from the joys of afternoon fika and ice-

skating on the frozen waterways to the struggles with the lack of sunlight in winter.

35:00 – 38:00) With the Swedish TV industry working on a much smaller, here Rachel

explains the struggle of finding diversity in local production teams.

41:00 – 44:20) In this fascinating section, Rachel and Anna discuss veganism, sustainability,

and food waste and the complexities of finding an appropriate balance.

50:00 – 51:40) Here Rachel explains why she moved to Paris at a pivotal time in her life

giving up a great job in London. Juts how easy is it to study patisserie without speaking French?

52:15 – 53:30) A mixed-race heritage means Rachels has her feet in many cultures, here

she explains how she navigates her feelings of provenance between Austria, Britain, and Malaysia.

56:00 – 59:00) Establishing human connection through food is at the base of Rachel’s work

ethos. Here she details how this started with her first TV project, The Little Paris Kitchen.


“I always feel like I’ve succeeded in life if I’ve brushed my teeth and made my bed.” Rachel

“You should hear me swearing – I’m worse than Gordon Ramsay when I’m running.” Rachel

“I hit 40 and I feel like I know who I am and what I want.” Rachel

“Find your tribe and find your cheerleaders.” Rachel

“You Marie Kondo’d your cookbooks.” Anna

“Butter makes everything better.” Rachel








Equipped with her highly attuned arsenal of culinary and creative credentials, Rachel Khoo is a multi-

talented bon vivant breathing fresh air, colourful flair, and the practiced skills of a chef onto the

world stage – and, into the kitchens and living rooms of home cooks internationally. As an esteemed

TV producer, presenter, podcast broadcaster, food writer and best-selling cookbook author – of six

books, translated into fourteen languages – and a global culinary consultant, this whisk-wielding,

innovative gourmet demonstrates her gastronomic prowess while wearing many hats. She can

currently be seen as the new judge on BBC’s The Great British Menu.

Instagram: @rachelkhooks


Anna Barnett displayed an enthusiastic interest in food, cooking (and especially eating) early in life;

eagerly joining her nan in the kitchen to observe and learn the traditional baking, ingredients, and

recipe techniques that would prove to serve her in the future. After a number of years working in TV

production and fashion, Anna’s natural culinary passion and energy led to a series of supper clubs,

pop-up restaurants, and professional catering. Subsequently, Anna released her debut cookery book

‘Eat the Week’ in 2015 and spent several years writing ‘The Reluctant Vegetarian’ blog for The

Independent newspaper as well as contributing to Vogue. For over a year and a half Anna wrote the

food pages for Grazia magazine, and now has a column writing for The Evening Standard online

where she shares recipes and food & travel recommendations, as well as interviewing some of the

world’s most eminent chefs.

Instagram: @annabarnettcooks

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