London-born chef, writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo started her career in luxury fashion before deciding her true passion lay in pâtisserie and food. She swapped London for the chic streets of Paris, and the luxury fashion job for a 3 month course at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu cookery school. The move paid off – Rachel is now a successful food writer, jet-setting cuisine creative and star of her own BBC Series ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’. She is currently working on her fourth book, to be published by Michael Joseph in Autumn 2013. We caught up with Rachel for the latest in our Q&A.
1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?
I grew into my style quite late. I experimented a lot at university but found my eclectic mix of vintage and high street when I moved to Paris (7 year ago).
2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?
Its hard for me to say as I don’t have a style icon per se. There are so many different people I admire for their dress sense.
3. How would you describe London style?
I live in Paris and though I’m in London often, my style doesn’t differ. I guess when I’m in London I always wear shoes which are easy to walk in – a bit boring but when you have loads of meetings to go to there’s nothing worse than hobbling in pain to them.
4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?
Paris is pretty much perfect.
5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?
A colourful dress, cardigan and some comfortable heels.
6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?
Red lipstick (Cherry Lush by Tom Ford), eyeliner (Body shop) and a good foundation (Bobbi Brown foundation stick).
7. When and where did you look your best?
On a sunshine-filled holiday.
8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)?
Summer. I love to go out without having to wear a coat and several layers.
9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?
My Aunt. She’s a costume designer and used to make dresses for me when I was a kid.
10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?
Wes Anderson’s last movie ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. I love the cinematography, style and props (I really want that portable record player).
11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?
Leaving the price label on the soles of shoes.
12. Cat or dog?
13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?
Nothing “just” happens, you have to work hard.
14. What motivates you in your career?
The need to be creative.
15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?
16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?
17.Which is your most treasured sense?
18.Name three elements of a perfect holiday?
Sunshine, open space and a good book.
19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?
I’d be taller – I’m 5ft. 2″.
20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest?
That’s a difficult one. I love my local dumpling place (cheap, tasty homemade Peking-style dumplings). Guo Xin, 47, rue de Belleville, 75019 Paris. If I’m in London then I love the Corner Room in Bethnal Green Town Hall, and as for guests one of my friends who I haven’t seen in a while (I’m almost always on the road now a days).
The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo is published by Michael Joseph, priced £20’, Available online.