Hurrah! I can finally announce I have a new TV Show Rachel Khoo’s Simple Pleasure. I’ll be cooking up a range of mouth-watering dishes using ordinary, easy-to-find ingredients and transforming them into extraordinary meals. Sharing the the joy that can be found in simple, tasty home cooking.
It was a crazy experience putting together the show. I was a week away from filming another TV show which got postponed. It all came about after the Commissioning Director at Discovery sent me a quick message on Linkedin asking whether I had any ideas for shows that could be filmed under lockdown conditions. A frantic weekend of me hacking away at my keyboard I had a few ideas which within a week the commissioning team had helped me hone. Against all odds the behind the scenes team at the Discovery network (legal, production management, marketing and commissioning departments just to name a few) aswell as my agent managed to get the show signed off in a short space of time.
From pitch to production in 4 weeks it was a whirlwind of finding crew (aka a cameraperson, local cook and an assistant/runner) and coordinating all the set up aswell as juggling two small kids at home.
The TV show was filmed at my mother in laws family home in the countryside where we were staying at the time. I rummaged through the attic, garage and the back of cupboards to find props I could use. Big thank you for Linda at Prop archive in Stockholm who sent me down a box full of amazing props so I didn’t have to just one tablecloth for the whole series.
A rather tired looking kitchen island was found in the garage. Dusted off I then attempted to sew curtains but failed miserably and resorted to double sided tape and pins. The same technique was used for a curtain to hide the dishwasher. I have a feeling I won’t be getting a call to do the Great British sewing bee. Sticky on patterned blue tiles were used to try and make the kitchen not so white (the shop didn’t have enough for the whole backsplash so I had to alternate).
A couple of days before the shoot I had the task of ordering all the ingredients for filming which involved stuffing my car with so many groceries I looked like I was hoarding bar not having a huge stash of toilet paper.
The crew arrived aka the talented Matthew Gormley and transformed the family kitchen into a fully functioning kitchen studio. Lighting, sound and handling three cameras there wasn’t anything Matt couldn’t do.
Lights, camera and action! More like lights, skype the director and action. Pete Lawrence, head of Hungry Gap Productions skyped in from the UK to direct. Helping us enormously with keeping our energy levels up, making sure I didn’t mumble into the camera and also that we got all the shots the edit needed.
Local cook, Pontus Sjöholm and his assistant, David Fernqvist made sure all the ingredients were prepped, dealt with the copious amounts of washing up and cleaning. Without them there was no way we could have shot 24 recipes in 10 days.
I had to dust off my food styling kit and grapple with stray herbs, too many crumbs and keeping the food looking fresh…oh how I missed having Frankie Unsworth, talented food stylist who usually does the food styling on my TV shows and cookbooks.
This TV show wouldn’t have happened without my mother-in-law and husband bundling our two small kids into the cold (despite their protests). A few meltdowns (not mine, the kids), 24 recipes, several outfit changes and a ton of washing up we wrapped filming the series.
I took the hard drives to the closest courier pick up point (a 2 hour round trip with two small kids in the car) to send to Hungry Gap productions who did their amazing post production magic.
Putting this series has been an epic effort from everyone involved which I’m truly grateful for. I do hope you enjoy the series!
Rachel Khoo’s Simple pleasures airs from Thursday 2nd July at 9pm on the Food Network. It’ll also be available to watch on dplay.co.uk (UK only).
The 8 episode (30 minutes each) series was produced by Hungry Gap Productions and Rachel Khoo’s own production company, Peas in a pot. Rachel executively produced this show.