Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

January 27th, 2015

Inside my Notebook

Some of you may be wondering why my latest TV series and new book is called ‘Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook’, so I thought I’d share the (simple) reason why with you all. I carry a notebook with me wherever I go; in it I sketch pictures, write notes, stick mementos and photos…you get the picture. So I thought, why not bring these notebooks to life? And that’s where the idea came from.

Rachel Khoo Instagram kitchen notebook proofs

My actual notebooks are on the page at the back!

To me it’s an essential part of the creative process, I tend to plan recipes visually and am always inspired by things I see when I’m out and about, whether I’m in London, Austria, Sweden, Malaysia, Australia or anywhere else in the world.

Rachel Khoo Instagram working on illustrations

Working on illustrations

For those of you who don’t know, I studied art while I was at uni at Central Saint Martins in London. To me cooking and food styling is just another way of expressing my creativity, and adding in my planning, ideas, illustrations and sketches to the book seems like a natural extension of this.

Rachel Khoo Instagram Kitchen notebook sketching

I started illustrating my recipes when I was working on The Little Paris Kitchen cookbook. I wanted to simplify the recipe and thought if I could draw it and people understood my drawings then that would mean I had succeeded. John Hamilton, my Art Director loved the drawings and decided that they had to go in the book. Ever since I’ve always incorporated my illustrations into both my books and TV shows.

Rachel Khoo Instagram illustrating tomatoes

I still feel I have a lot learn and practice in regards to my illustration. Last year I took a couple of short courses at Central Saint Martins to improve and develop my work. I have a tendency of working on a small scale, hence my choice of using watercolours, pencils and pens. Believe me I’ve tried going big, using oils, acrylic…but nothing has stuck like watercolours have.

I also try and have a sneak peak in other people’s sketch books. The house of illustration had a fantastic exhibition on Quentin Blake’s work last year which gave me a very interesting insight into his work. Reading Judith Kerr’s fantastic ‘Creatures’ book, another one of my favourite illustrators, was  also very revealing.

Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook illustration Strawberry and black pepper cake

The illustrating part of creating a recipe is often the part where my brain can take a moment to process everything. It often sparks different ideas and gets the creative juices flowing. I couldn’t imagine not using a notebook.

Rachel Khoo Instagram Illustration Kitchen notebook title

So there you have it…a sneaky peek into the way my mind works, how I plan recipes and the reason why my new book got its name! Remember you can pre-order the book now if you’re in the following locations:

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

And don’t forget I’ve teamed up with Books for Cooks, who are currently taking orders for signed copies of all of my books!

The book is out on the 12th of February here in the UK, Australia and New Zealand; in March in Germany and the Netherlands; and later on in the year in the states.

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18 thoughts on “Inside my Notebook

  1. Hi Rachel,Yourillustrations are lovely because they are fun and cheerful. I enjoy your books because they are a visual treat. Good luck with your new one. Nic x

  2. Hi Rachel-
    I love to watch both of your shows here in the US. I love to cook, but never attempted French recipes. You have changed that and i thank you.
    I also keep journals. Mine have recipes, ideas for my garden and “good ideas” that I don”t want to forget.
    Best wishes!

  3. Good Day Rachel,

    I love your cooking and art work. I collect recipes from friends, TV shows and family. I also, get a taste sensation and try to create a dish that addresses that sensation. So I just make stuff up. Well, you only can try.

    You are a great presenter.

    All the best,

    Joe Belopotoszky

  4. Hi Rachel,

    My kids and I love your shows. We watch it here in America. I’m a single mom who’s teaching myself how to cook. We love your books and as of now we only own one. We’re saving for your new book. Shame we can not get a signed copy. We enjoy your art as well. Thank you.

  5. Hi Rachel,

    My kids and I love your shows. We watch it here in America. I’m a single mom who’s teaching myself how to cook. We love your books and as of now we only own one. We’re saving for your new book. Shame we can not get a signed copy. We enjoy your art as well. Thank you.

  6. Hi Rachel,
    My daughter, Anneliese (who is 4) and I just love watching your shows!
    We have your cookbooks also.
    My daughter is a keen artist and would love to have the sketch books that Rachel Khoo has! She likes the rectangular (landscape) ones that you have used in your Notebook shows.
    I can’t believe that we missed you when you came to Melbourne recently so am hoping you return again soon!
    Wishing you all the best, I just love what you do!!

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Back to Notebook

Out Now!

Rachel Khoo's Simple Pleasures e-cookbook.

Over 24 recipes that find those good food moments in everyday ingredients. Ranging from roast chicken parcels with a crunchy slaw, a summer salad that celebrates the best of the seasons, utterly moreish cake pesto bites to a deliciously decadent dark chocolate pudding with caramel shards.

All the recipes are featured in Rachel Khoo’s Simple pleasures TV show.

100% of the proceeds* from this book will be donated to Film and TV charity UK

(charity number 1099660)