Khoo la la! There’s a new cookery kid in town, and not just any old town, but Paris, the birthplace of haute cuisine - which makes it a tad surprising that Croydon-born Rachel Khoo, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu no less, was showcasing only the most basic skills in The Little Paris Kitchen (BBC2, 8.30pm, 19 March).
Working a mean red lip, cropped cardi and tea dress look, Khoo declared at the off that this was about “French food the way Parisians eat it” not fancy restaurant fare, but the food was often very basic. Not that it will have any bearing on the viewing figures.
While some will dismiss this as a shamelessly cynical approach to cookery programme making (pretty girl - tick, pretty city - tick, pretty food - tick), The Little Paris Kitchen has, for these very reasons, got sure-fire hit written all over it.
With her cute looks and cuter food, Khoo is the classic girl other girls want to be and boys want to be with. You can just imagine some college lad reluctantly watching the programme with his girlfriend and secretly enjoying it so much he cooks one of the dishes for her. Which he won’t have trouble doing because it’s so cookable. Better still, it isn’t the usual spag bol, it’s French! Moreover, French with a twist!
You can’t move these days for TV chefs promising classics ‘with a twist’. But while some of Khoo’s were rubbish - her twist on a béchamel sauce looked a lot like a béchamel sauce - others were pretty clever. What’s not to like about muffin-style croque madames and a barbecue version of coq au vin? Might even have a go at some Khoo-ky cookery myself.