Born In: Croydon, United Kingdom
Rachel Khoo is a British chef, cookbook author, cookery show host, TV producer, entrepreneur, food blogger, editor, and culinary expert, best known for her shows on BBC and Food Network. She was born to a Malaysian–Chinese father and an Austrian mother, in London. After graduating from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, she moved to Paris. There, she completed a diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu and started working at La Cocotte. Soon, she wrote two French-language cookbooks. Since then, she has written many popular cookbooks, such as The Little Paris Kitchen, My Little French Kitchen, and The Little Swedish Kitchen. Some of her notable cookery shows are The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London, Zumbo's Just Desserts, and My Swedish Kitchen. She now lives in Sweden with her husband and son.
Also Known As: Rachel
Spouse/Ex-: Robert Wiktorin (m. 2015)
siblings: Michael Khoo
Born Country: England
City: Croydon, England
education: Le Cordon Bleu
Rachel Khoo was born on August 28, 1980, in Croydon, South London, U.K. She grew up with her younger brother, Michael. Rachel initially attended a primary school located in Bromley.
The paternal side of her family belongs to the Khoo Kongsi clan of George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Rachel’s father is a Malaysian–Chinese who moved from Ipoh, Perak, to the U.K. in 1968, when he was just 16 years old. He married an Austrian (Rachel’s mother) later.
When Rachel was 12, her father’s IT job made the family move to Bavaria. They lived just outside Munich for 4 years.
When Rachel was 16, the family moved back to the U.K. Subsequently, she joined the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She eventually obtained a degree in art and design.
Following her graduation, Rachel took up a job in the public relations and e-marketing department of the luxury brand Thomas Pink. She worked with them for 2 years.
Following this, in 2006, she attended a patisserie course of 3 months at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. While in Paris, she also took up a part-time job as an “au pair” and sold perfume at the Printemps, a famous department store.
After completing her course at Le Cordon Bleu, she joined La Cocotte, a cookbook store and café in Paris. Rachel was required to organize baking workshops there, while she also served as the pastry chef at the store.
Meanwhile, she was often found at cookery events and cookbook launches. Renowned American cookbook writer Marc Grossman made Rachel test some recipes for one of his books. Rachel thus also met his editor.
In 2010, Rachel sealed a book deal to write two cookery books in French. The books, Pâtes à tartiner (Rachel Khoo's Sweet and Savory Pâtés) and Barres à céreales, muesli et granola maison (Rachel Khoo's Muesli and Granola), were published by Marabout and later translated into English.
Additionally, Rachel also worked as a freelancer for Volkswagen in Germany. She mostly organized food-related events there.
She then convinced some publishers in the U.K. to publish her books. Following this, she launched a restaurant to test recipes to be featured in her debut English-language cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen.
The restaurant was a tiny café in her Paris flat in Belleville that could only fit two diners at a time. Social-media promotions helped her earn some mileage.
The BBC later aired her debut TV project, the six-episode series titled The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo. The series was first aired on March 19, 2012. Eventually, the series went international.
The same year, her bestselling book The Little Paris Kitchen was published. It has since been translated into various languages, such as Dutch, German, French, Italian, Danish, Latvian, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, American English, Polish, and Norwegian.
The book eventually sold over 120,000 copies. More than 1.5 million viewers in the U.K. watched the series.
Her second cookbook in English, My Little French Kitchen, was published by Michael Joseph in September 2013. It narrated her travel and culinary adventures across France.
She also filmed two BBC culinary series, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cook and Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: London. Her next cookbook, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, was published on February 12, 2015.
In November 2014, she filmed an episode of the series A Cook Abroad, titled Rachel Khoo's Malaysia, in Malaysia. On March 9, 2015, BBC2 aired the episode of A Cook Abroad featuring Rachel. She was shown visiting the house of her paternal relatives and exploring Malaysian food.
Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Melbourne, another series featuring Rachel, started filming in February 2015. The series was aired by SBS in Australia in July 2015.
She was seen as a guest judge in the seventh season of the Australian cooking reality show My Kitchen Rules. The season debuted on Seven Network in February 2016.
The same month, Khoo launched her own blog, Khoollect, featuring food, fashion, and lifestyle articles. It was an extension of her food creative studio of the same name in London, which she set up in 2015.
She travelled to Sydney in April 2016 to be part of the Seven Network cooking reality contest named Zumbo's Just Desserts, featuring as a judge, with pastry chef Adriano Zumbo.
The show debuted in Australia in August 2016 and was made available on Netflix in 2018. The second season of the show aired in Australia in 2019 and started streaming on Netflix in 2020.
Rachel published her sixth cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen, on July 26, 2018. In October that year, Rachel started working on her new series, My Swedish Kitchen, in Sweden. The program showcased various innovative recipes from her cookbook The Little Swedish Kitchen and began airing on Food Network UK in August 2019.
The show was aired on Choice TV in New Zealand, BBC Asia, SBS in Australia, Godare in Sweden, and NHK in Japan. It is to be aired by RTL Germany, CBC Canada, and other international channels in 2020.
In 2018, Rachel went to Japan to film a Tokyo special episode for the show Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook. Rachel went back to Japan in 2019, to work on a Christmas special for NHK, which aired in December that year.
In 2020, Rachel and Fred Siriex explored the culinary culture of Vienna for the BBC 2 show Remarkable Places to Eat. Rachel’s first podcast, A Carnivore’s Crisis Series, was commissioned by Amazon in Australia and was released in July 2020.
She hosted the Food Network UK show Rachel Khoo’s Simple Pleasures. It was produced by Rachel’s production company, Peas in a Pot, and Hungry Gap Productions. Rachel is now working on a new cookery and travel show to be co-produced by her company.
Rachel has also written recipes for publications such as The Times, London Evening Standard, and The Guardian. She has served as a consultant for various hotels, restaurants, and corporate clients, such as The Ned, a hotel in London.
Rachel stayed in Paris for 8 years after moving to the city from the U.K. in 2006. She went back to London in 2014 and settled in Hoxton, Hackney. The same year, she got engaged to Swedish chef Robert Wiktorin. The couple got married in 2015.
In 2016, Rachel moved to Stockholm. In February that year, Rachel declared through her blog that she was pregnant. In early 2017, she became a mother to her first child, a son.
She now owns an apartment in Kensal Green, north-west London. She is a polyglot and is fluent in English, German, French, and Swedish.
Apart from cooking, Rachel also loves traveling and exploring the vintage shops and flea markets of various places. Some of her favorite travel destinations are Nice, Amsterdam, New York City, and Chicago.