Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

March 3rd, 2015

Catch me on BBC 2 in ‘A Cook Abroad’

Some of you will remember me being in Malaysia last year (especially if you follow me on Instagram) and you may have been wondering why. Well if you didn’t already know, I was there filming an episode for the series  ‘A Cook Abroad’, which is currently airing on BBC 2. My episode will be airing on Monday 9th March at 9pm on BBC 2.

Rachel Khoo Instagram cooking beach Malaysia

When the BBC approached me to do an episode of ‘A Cook Abroad’, it sounded like a dream come true. My biggest inspiration comes from when I go out and meet people, hear their stories, discover their passions and taste their food – and this show is all about that. Straight away it was obvious that the place I wanted to go to was Malaysia. Despite having a reputation for being a French food lover, I actually have a deep passion for all things hot and spicy too (hence the fact I always have a jar of these pickled chillies in my fridge).

My Malaysian heritage meant that instead of being born with a silver spoon in my mouth I was born with a spoon of sambal (a spicy salty chilli paste – synonymous with Malaysian cooking). On my visits to Malaysia as a kid I would quite happily eat a variety of Durian, impressing my relatives. Durian is also known as the King of fruits and seen as a delicacy. You’ve probably heard about (or potentially smelt) it’s very pungent odour. It’s so powerful that it’s illegal to carry on public transport in many South-East Asian countries!

Rachel Khoo Instagram Laksa Penang Malaysia

Assam laksa – one of my favourite dishes!

Smelly fruits aside I wanted to make the most of this opportunity to not only eat some fantastic food but also explore what it’s like to live there. The history of Malaysia has created a melting pot population which in turn has made a highly diverse and interesting culture.

Rachel Khoo Instagram Malaysia template
Malaysia’s ethnic make up is made out of Malaysian Malays, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indian, Orang Asli (aboriginals) and a few other small ethnic groups. I always find how people interact, especially when they have different cultural references, fascinating.  Through my Dad and my visits to Malaysia I very much experienced the Chinese side of Malaysia. I’m no hard hitting journalist but in my own way, I tried to delve into what it means to be Malaysian rather than focusing on one particular ethnic group.

Rachel Khoo Instagram Malaysia jungle

Delicious barbecue feast I had in the jungle with the Orang asli tribe

The more I explored Malaysia, ate the mouth-watering food and talked to different people, the more I realised it was going to be impossible to fit everything into a one hour show (I’m sure there will be a barrage of people tweeting why I didn’t eat this or try that ;-). If you fancy watching what I got up to (and more importantly all the amazing food I ate) in Malaysia, make sure to tune in on Monday 9th March at 9pm on BBC 2.

More about A Cook Abroad series on the BBC website.

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10 thoughts on “Catch me on BBC 2 in ‘A Cook Abroad’

  1. Lovely presentation of peoples and food. However, it would be better if your researchers did their job better. This is most insulting when false information were presented as if they are facts. It is insulting to Malaysians, and it ridicules the professionalism of the presenters and the programme makers.

    The questions to be asked here is ” Would the French accepts being wrongly presented by a French Chef like Rachael Khoo?”

    If Rachael Khoo would not do this to France, does it make it right for Rachael Khoo to misrepresent Malaysian history, cuisine and peoples????

    A lovely presentation by a lovely presenter, do not make it a true representation of Malaysian history, cuisine or peoples.

  2. I do wish Jo (previous entry) gave examples of factual errors or misleading comments. No point in making a general criticism without giving examples.

    There are contentious issues in the histories of most countries. I’m sure Malaysia is no exception. I fail to see how anyone could object to the general tone of the narrative.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. Well done to you and your ‘team’.

  3. Well as a Malaysian myself, it’s interesting to see how people from other countries view our country, culture, and most importantly, our food! Somehow Malaysians have great pride in our food, haha. Even I myself have no idea that the Orang Asli still have these activities going around, and after watching the show I’d love to go experience that!

    As for the misinformations being presented the other reader above, I can’t think of any serious ones off the top of my head. Though I must admit talking about racial segregation and economic policies may be a bit iffy for many Malaysians, and I can see why some Malaysians can get worked up about it. It has been a hot topic for Malaysians for decades, and in a way I think through these interviews with individuals it presents views from different people with different perspective from the grassroots, though many may or may not agree with what they say. But hey, same thing happens when you interview anyone at any country about what they think of their country’s politics, haha. To me it’s fine!

    Oh, and it’s actually the first time I actually see people eating the kuih-kuih (the colorful cakes you had on the train) by peeling them, haha. Usually we’ll just stuff them in our mouth. 😛

    After watching the show I miss home and all the delicious, delicious food already! Nasi Kandar Line Clear! THAT PLACE IS SO GOOD! Gotta go stuff myself with sambal belacan when I get back home next! Thanks Rachel for doing this show!

  4. I watched your video and was disgusted with our you presented my school ACS Ipoh (16:38-23:47). It was a wonderful walk down memory lane of my dear school, I studied at ACS from 1984-1995. BUT Rachel Khoo discussing segregation of ethnic groups, & national economic policy and attempting to seek its existence within school students was just uncalled for. That screwed up the whole essense of my dear school & our heritage we hold strongly in our school.

    All Education institutions globally have their students in their respective groups which consist of individuals who share a common interest. Be it a mixed race of individuals, or the same colored individuals, the same ethnicity of individuals. Rachel Khoo should not be questioning something which is so common globally, and exclusively scrutinize students at Malaysian school in-relations to the countries political strategies.

    “ACSian & Proud”

    1. Hi Kugendran, I’m very sorry you felt that way – it wasn’t my intention to cause any offence! I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Malaysia and was purely expressing my own personal opinion, based upon my personal experience there.

  5. I would simply love to find some of the recipes from the show, that I finally found the time to watch today! Some fantastic foods that I would love to try to cook. Are they anywhere to be found? A mouth watering episode for me!!

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