My Kitchen Rules has extended the dinner invitation to a new judge with Rachel Khoo set to dine alongside contestants in their homely instant restaurants.
The chef and best-selling author who has worked with the world’s top chefs, including Jamie Oliver, empathises with the Group 3 contestants who are about to embark on their instant restaurant round with fellow judge, Colin Fassnidge.
“It's nerve-wracking cooking for the judges and other contestants. I'm even feeling nervous!” says Rachel. “I will give each team praise, or constructive criticism, where appropriate. I want to encourage them to take on my feedback and improve their cooking skills. For me, the competition isn't just about winning; it's also about the experience of participating and becoming a better cook.”
Rachel has filmed five cooking and travel TV programs in the past four years, including Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: Melbourne.
But MKR provides her with the rare prospect of having other people cook for her. “Having the opportunity to see and taste how people cook at home is something I don't get to experience very often. So being a judge on MKR is the perfect way to experience some Australian home cooking.
“It doesn't need to be fancy. It doesn't need to be complicated. The most important thing is that the dishes the contestants cook are ones they're passionate about. They should cook with their heart and be fearless with their flavours. I don't want any half-hearted efforts.”
And while teams this year have hopefully learnt that the way to judge Manu Feildel’s heart is through a healthy dollop of sauce, they’ll soon learn that Rachel’s motto is:
“Butter makes everything better.” “I don't have a particular style. I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to cooking. I pick out flavours and techniques from around the world and like to mix them up.”
Rachel is also the author of five books. Her fourth, The Little Paris Kitchen catapulted her popularity and the accompanying TV series has been licensed by BBC Worldwide. She published her fifth book, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, last year.