Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

October 7th, 2015

Behind the scenes of Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook

It’s what you’ve all been waiting for… Some behind-the-scenes snippets from the shoot for my new book ‘Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook’, which is out next week by the way! Here’s part two of the trailer to get you in the mood:

You know how they say behind every man is a strong woman…well behind every successful food writer is an impeccably talented and team of creatives making sure everything is perfect. From left to right we have: Tamsin English (my editor for this book while my usual editor, Lindsay Evans was on maternity leave), John Hamilton (Art director and also author of 100 cookery postcards),  David Loftus – food photographer extraordinaire, Lydia Brun (prop stylist), Frankie Unsworth my good friend and food stylist, me! and Helen Vass (food assistant). Note: this is just the team behind the pictures. Theres’s a whole fantastic team of people managing sales, marketing, PR, distribution and much more back at Penguin Random House HQ.

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook team

You might be looking at the picture above and thinking ‘that’s not your little kitchen!’, well you’d be right – it’s not. I’m good at working in small spaces, but not sure how it would work shooting a book in my small flat! So, instead we shot all around London for the book, and had use of this beautiful big, airy house with a lovely garden for part of the time. It also had lots of lovely features, which lend well to styling photos successfully i.e. big tables, work spaces and other nice features (like in the picture below).

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook shoot inside house

Love the bare brick walls

It’s not just the way food looks which makes a successful recipe (they say we eat with our eyes first), but it’s also all the other components, from choice of plate, to how it’s served, what surface it’s on, lighting etc., that make a real difference. Thankfully we had access to a beautiful array of crockery, utensils and other kitchen bits and bobs, like pestle and mortars, jugs, spoons and trays to help make this happen.

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook crockery

Beautiful shades of blue – one of my favourite colours!

Props are also a big part of this and the assortment of lovely vintage pieces we had for the book were so delightful. From fabrics to serving trays, I was super happy with the finds. Here are a few of my favourites below – I particularly love the longer serving dish, with the dancing alpine figures on it. And the pom poms! Who doesn’t love a pom pom? The props are all down to the wonderful Lydia.

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook vintage props

So what happens next? Location, team and props all secured…it’s then down to lights (well actually just natural light), camera, action. Each day we had a schedule of which recipes we’d be shooting. Frankie and Helen will be busy in the kitchen prepping, Lydia picking props, John and David discussing the shot/layout for the book while I nip in and out of everybody’s area. We all then come together when the food hits the table.

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Rachel dressing dish

Putting the finishing touches to my plum jelly with Chantilly cream.

A quick discussion after whether we’re happy with the shot. Usually everything looks great but sometimes a recipe doesn’t look quite right and we might have to reshoot it (change of plate/background/presentation). Whatever happens the food always ends up being eaten (that’s staff lunch sorted out or my dinner sometimes).

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook photo break

And once each recipe is finished, it’s straight onto the next shot. I’ve been really privileged to work with David on my books, he has a seriously good eye for making things look delicious and the master of shooting quickly (we do 10-12 recipes a day)!

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook David Loftus

There you have it, a peek behind the scenes of my new book! Can’t believe it’s out next Thursday (in the UK, Australia and New Zealand), doesn’t quite feel real yet. If you want to pre-order a copy of Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, you can do so by following these links:

UK – pre-order from Amazon
Australia – pre-order from Booktopia or Book World
New Zealand – pre-order here
Germany – pre-order from Amazon
Netherlands – pre-order here

And there’s still time to get your orders in to Books for Cooks if you’d like a signed copy – all the details are here (they’re taking orders for all my books).

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14 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook

  1. I would like to offer my congratulations to Rachel on her engagement. On her new YouTube Channel, I wondered whether the cameraman, (Archie Thomas?) is the lucky chap, because when he is filming her, he mainly focuses on her face. Lovely though it is, we are interested in seeing how she is making the item in question.

    If you look through the comments on the videos of her recently launched channel, most of them, without fail, are asking for the cameraman to show us her hands and what she is making. If he is intending that her channel will not succeed, so that she will give it up and marry him and have babies, he is going the right way about it! 🙂

    Please address soonest.

  2. Patricia you made me lol, I also came here looking for Archie Thomas, wondering if it’s her boyfriend doing the filming because indeed it needs some work. I understand it’s not easy to film someone in motion, I filmed my husband for his channel as well and it’s unpredictable, however key moments within the recipe confection such as assembly, are crucial for the audience and our beloved Archie Thomas has been missing on those a lot. He can’t keep his lens off her cute face 😉

  3. Hello Rachel we are Brits living in Perth W Australia and love watching your shows loved France and the current Cosmopolitan cooking series, in the Scandinavian show you used a wonderful little rocking action pestle and mortar made of I think a type of stone grey with dark veins in it Can you tell where I could purchase one we are coming to the UK in August so if its only available there that’s fine. Thank you and keep Wowing us Kind regards
    Janet & Colin

    1. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the show Janet and Colin! I’m afraid I actually picked that pestle and mortar up in Paris quite a few years ago. I will keep my eyes peeled and if I come across a similar one online I will post the link to it for you. 🙂

  4. Rachel is lovely to look at but I must agree that the purpose of the exercise is to get visual education as Patricia Robinson mentioned on February 9, 2015.

  5. we used to love watching Keith Floyd, back in the day, who was always directing his cameraman to zoom in on the food whilst he was cooking. I miss that so much in so many shows. However, I do agree that it is most enjoyable watching sweet Rachel when she is cooking. I am a great fan of her pleasing personality and great easy to make recipes.

  6. Hi Rachel!!

    Congratulations for your lovely books. Any plan for Spaniers?? I do know that there are lots of spanish followers of you.
    Keep being so special!!!!
    Best wishies.
    Miguel A.

  7. Hellooo Rachel,

    I very much enjoy your programmes! Do you still have your Little Paris Kitchen restaurant? I visited Paris recently and looked everywhere but couldnt seem to find it – sacre bleu…

    Kindest regards,


  8. Where can we get a cookbook from the London series in Australia we love all your recipies but cannot seem to get a book? Les and Iris Australia.

    1. Hi Frank,

      Thanks for reaching out. Most of my recipes from the show can be found in Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook. You should be able to order the book at any bookstore. When I was in Sydney last they stocked it at most of the big bookstores like Kinokuniya.

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Out Now!

Rachel Khoo's Chocolate e-cookbook

With over 30 delicious recipes, this e-cookbook showcases wonderful new ways to cook with cocoa. This is not just a dessert book; within you'll find a whole range of recipes for every occasion from a decadent chocolate tahini caramel torte, to a confit cocoa cod with lemony white chocolate sauce. These recipes are featured in Rachel Khoo's Chocolate TV show.

100% of the proceeds* from this book will be donated to Women’s Aid (charity number 1054154)