If you were smitten by Rachel Khoo‘s creative approach to classic French recipes in The Little Paris Kitchen, you will delight in the release of her new book, My Little French Kitchen, with her fresh take on more regional French cuisine.
In My Little French Kitchen, Rachel takes you on a culinary journey from the far north-western corner of France in Brittany, down towards the Mediterranean in Provence and over to the German-influenced Alsace. Along the way are recipes inspired both by the region and local classics.
In Brittany, an area where my in-laws live, Rachel reinvents the traditional buttery pastry, the kouign-amann, as little kouignettes made pretty with redcurrants. If you have a bottle of crème de cassis lurking in the drinks cabinet, her sticky cassis pork ribs will have you licking your fingers with greed. Rachel’s penchant for bright colours is evident in her version of a brioche loaf studded with pink pralines, while duck legs are given an Asian-inspired makeover with a spicy sauce made from roasted grapes and sweet wine.
Here on Eat, Little Bird, Rachel’s Kugelhopf and Ham and Vegetable Pastry Puffs have been a big hit, as well as some other recipes which will be published soon on this blog over the coming weeks. As someone who travels to France frequently, I find Rachel’s take on French food to be inspiring, and her new book has barely left my kitchen bench since I first bought it – a sign of a keeper.
In a special interview for Eat, Little Bird, Rachel Khoo tells us what some of her favourite recipes from her new book are, plus she reveals a little more about her love of French food and more. Enjoy!
What are some must-cook recipes from My Little French Kitchen?
Well you already did one, the Kugelhopf. When I was testing this recipe I found it very hard not to eat at least 5 slices in one go. It’s very moreish! The Sticky Cassis Pork Ribs with Mint and Broad Bean Couscous are one my faves to do for friends. Walnut and Buckwheat Caramel Tart is perfect for teatime, although to be honest it’s delicious anytime. I’ve eaten it at midnight when I had the munchies.
Which region of France surprised you most when researching and testing recipes for My Little French Kitchen, and why?
I really loved the Saturday market in Rennes. It was the most amazing market I had ever been to. Unlike some of the markets in Paris which are mainly resellers, the market in Rennes was mainly farmers, producers or the fishermen selling their own produce. Everything was so fresh, the range of seafood and size of the lobsters were huge.
What are some of your favourite French cheeses?
I love an 18 month Comté. A creamy Brillat Savarin is pretty amazing too.
If you had 24 hours in Paris, which places would you recommend for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
A freshly pressed juice at Bob’s Juice Bar and grab a pastry at Du Pain et Des Idées around the corner. As for lunch, if the weather is nice, head to one of the markets and pick up some cheese, charcuterie, a baguette and a bottle of wine and have a picnic along the canal or seine. I recently had dinner at Bistro Bellet in the 10th. Excellent classic French food at a good price. Plus they’re open late (serve food until midnight) which is rare in Paris.
When you are not indulging in French food, what do you like to eat?
I love Asian food (my dad is Malaysian) from stir fry, dim sum to curry. Although, to be honest, I’m not that fussy as long as I don’t have to cook (when you’re cooking all the time for work it’s nice to get a break).
What are your do’s and don’ts for a dinner party?
Do prep ahead. Don’t choose an over complicated menu. Simplicity is best.
What would you typically cook when you have friends coming over for dinner?
It really depends who is coming and also what kind of recipes I’m testing at the moment. I’m in the process of writing my next book, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook (which won’t be French based) so it’s a bit of hotch potch of cuisine.
What is your favourite way of roasting a chicken?
Smearing it with plenty of butter and a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel.
What are your top 5 essential kitchen implements?
A good sharp chef’s knife, a mandoline (the plastic Japanese ones are the best), a heat-resistent spatula, microplane grater and a speed peeler.
Do you have any kitchen gadgets which you love but rarely use?
I was given an ice-cream machine which I have yet to use.
Moving countries to pursue a career takes a lot of determination, but moving countries to follow a dream career requires even more courage. What words of motivation could you share with someone who is contemplating a career change, whether at home or abroad?
There’s nothing to lose. You can always go back to your previous job. Any experience you gain from changing career, whether you succeed or not, will be valuable for any future job.
And lastly (but very importantly!), what is your current favourite lipstick?
I’ve just rediscovered lipgloss for my days off from red lipstick. Love Bobbi Brown’s sheer colour lip gloss in Chocolate Raspberry. It tingles in a fresh minty way when you put it on.
The lovely people at Penguin Books are giving away one copy of Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, to a lucky reader of Eat, Little Bird.
To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite French food is.
This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide.
The winner will be drawn at random on Monday, 3 March 2014 at 9.00pm UK time and will be notified by email. Bonne chance!
UPDATE: Congratulations to KatieK and Leone! You have both won a copy of My Little French Kitchen.
My favourite French food is….La soupe à l’oignon 😉
Lovely cook with lots of original recepies!
Simply love Rachel Khoo, my favourite recipe is Gratin au poison fume (smoky fish bake) delicious and comforting
I adore this site and this very creative, modern chef…minimalist yet so sublime and warm. Every recipe WORKS and is exquisitely explained to carry out in the home kitchen!
My favorite French dishes? Noix de Saint Jacques with jus de cresson…and Salade Perigourdienne (with magret de canard fumé)….
ELB confirms to be one of my fave!! :)) favorite french recipe: fresh baked baguette!
Aww thank you! Hope you enjoyed this interview 🙂
I do love escargots. With butter, garlic and some parsley. Mmmmm!
What an experience to interview Rachel Khoo, she is becoming one of favorite chef. Love her take on French Food. I would love to visit Brittany somedày.
Nearly and almost absolutely everything except things that lurk in the water and the insides of animals or humans.
Hi! 🙂 My favourite French food is Bœuf bourguignon.
What a lovely post! It seems very difficult to name only one favorite when it comes to French food, but, I would have to say duck confit. It’s my special indulgence.
I love watching Rachel Khoo cooking. She makes it look so easy. I’m a sweets lover and a serious chocoholic and the day I saw her make her Crème Brûlèè I had to make it immediately. It was delicious and now has become one of my go-to desserts. I’ve made a few of her recipes since and have loved them all. I would love to win her cookbook and try more of her recipes.
Chouquettes are the best thing ever invented ! 🙂
I have a major crush on Rachel Khoo!
My favorite French food (or meal?) has got to be a good crusty baguette smeared with butter and sandwiching a few thin slices of jambon. Epitome of simplicity and goodness!
Loved, loved, loved reading this! Rachel Khoo is so lovely! It’s so hard to name just one favorite French food, but I would say that a fresh baguette with great butter is just about impossible to beat. 🙂
Pomme frites! <3
That’s a good one! 😉
Whoa Thanh! Fabulous feather in your cap! And I just chuckled with the question of the lipstick cos that’s exactly what I would ask her too! Wonderful interview, congratulations. It’s an experience to have one on one contact with someone you obviously appreciate and admire! More! More!
Oh and it’s French Onion Soup 😉
So happy that you enjoyed the interview! 🙂 And yes, I thought of you when I was writing up the lipstick question. I might even confess that it was one of the first questions I had down before the food-related ones 😉
Rachel Khoo is an inspiration!! And I’m loving the Malaysian connection too 🙂
My fave French food is beef bourguignon, the perfect comfort food! And being a non-French speaker, I love hearing the waiter say it whenever I order it!
Lovely post and interview! My favorite French food is probably crepes, both sweet and savory.
Hope i win!!
I love Rachel Khoo, she’s such a positive role model! My favourite French food are the pastries, like a really good buttery croissant or pain au chocolat!
You’re a star to have managed to do such a great interview.I love watching her on tv. And my favourite French food is Cuisses de grenouille with plenty of butter, garlic and parsley.
Merci, Laurence! I’m glad you enjoyed this interview – I was really excited to do it 🙂
Rachel is such an inspiration! My favourite french food has to be oeufs en meurette.
Well that’s an easy question…CROISSANTS!! Great interview.
Oo it has to be aligot, an amazing rubbery strong cheese and potato combo from the south. AMAZING with some spicy merguez! Love all French food 🙂
What a lovely interview Thanh! I really enjoyed reading it. Rachel is so lovely! Favourite French food? It would have to be a croissant! 🙂
I am not sure if this counts really, but one of my favourites is a good baguette with salted butter, delicious cheese and baby tomatoes.
My favorite French dishes are: Bouillabaisse and Cassoulet. Sorry, I had to include the two!
Love them both so much! 🙂
No need to apologise – I just realised how difficult it is to name just one favourite! Love your choices 🙂
Absolutely has to be Moules Frites!! We spent ten days in Brittany last summer and I was the proudest mum to a 5-year old boy who devoured them EVERY night!!
I´ll have to say that french food wasn´t on my food-I´d-love-to-make list until I saw Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris Kitchen”. Said that, my favorite french dish must be “oeufs en cocotte”. I know, nothing too fancy, but I love the simplicity of this dish that just makes you happy every time you taste it :).
Hard to choose but one of my favorites is a good ‘sole au beurre blanc’.
Can’t beat a simple tarte au chevre, delicious but simple
Oh, Thanh, you know I love this post!! Oh, I love, love, love it!! And it’s not food, can you believe it? 😛 I think you didn’t need me to tell you three times, you knew I were going to enjoy 😛
I love cassis, in macarons, cookies, cakes, crazy with cassis when I went to Paris. I bought a bottle (okay, let’s say two) am marmalade, yummy!! My boyf didn’t share this weakness with me 😛
Congratulations for the interview, it’s really nice. i thnk I wouldn’t find a better person to make this, you ask the questions I would!!
Oh, I was in Rennes and didn’t visit the market, what a pity!! And perfect the last question, it’s not a secret that, in addition to her kitchen, this girl has a great style!!!
Even if it’s hard to pick a French food, you know, I will do, and… it will be coq au vin, because you can eat eeeeeeevery day!! Not as it happens with croissant, croque or delicious tartiflette.
Congratulations, thank you, today I’m even more groupie than usual, excusez-moi!!
I’m so happy you enjoyed this post! 🙂 I was thrilled when Rachel Khoo agreed to do this interview for ELB, particularly since I am such a fan of her recipes and, it seems, so are a lot of my readers, including yourself!
Did you buy crème de cassis in Paris? You will love her recipe for Sticky Cassis Pork Ribs … I hope to have the recipe on here soon. I don’t drink a lot but I’m always buying alcohol for cooking, so our friends must think I’m an alcoholic because we have so many bottles in our drinks cabinet!
Have a lovely day 🙂
Yeah, I did!! I ate so many desserts with cassis in Paris (AOKI was soooo great and soooo crème de cassis!!) that it became an obsession.
And, as you, I don’t drink a lot, but I enjoy using alcohol for cooking, so I always bring something new when I travel 😉
I’ve to try the pork ribs with cassis, of course I’ll do!!!
Congratulations on such a wonderful interview Thanh!!! How exciting. Rachel Khoo is just gorgeous and seems like an absolute sweetheart to boot. And I love the lipstick question! That would have been my first question too.
Great minds think alike 😉
Such a great interview! And I can only choose Moules Marinières as my favorite French dish…..just the thought of them makes me swoon.
I loved the show of Rachel. And the Croque Madam Muffin ja one of my favourits. I really want to try out more.
Also congrats on the wonderful interview.
My favouite French food is hard to pin down, there is so much to choose from!!!! I guess you really can’t beat a really good French Onion soup 🙂
Love! Love! Her first book ” little Paris kitchen” fave french dish… Cannelles…. Mmmmm
Stay tuned! I will be sharing Rachel Khoo’s recipe for cannelés soon …
Congrats Thanh! What a lovely interview and I’m so thrilled that you asked about the lipstick 😀
There’s too many French dishes to choose from but if I had to choose between a cassoulet or a poisson meunière I think I’d pick the poisson meunière with potatoes on the side.
Stunning book and how could anyone not love Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate Raspberry!
My favourite has to be French Onion Soup, mmmmm
My favourite French food is a meal called Fillet de Perche, its more than just Fillets of Perch, its a whole atmosphere, time and lifestyle for me. It must be eaten on a lakeside, in a big floppy hat, with frites and preferably a cafe et eclair afterwards. Apart from the cafe au lait, this has been a tradition for me since I was 5 and even just thinking about it reminds me of all the reasons I love France!
Anything with garlic in makes perfect French themed for me especially with fresh baked baguette. MMMmmmm my mouth is watering now.
Great post and interview!
My favorite French food are crepes and creme brulee.
2 favorites: french onion soup & moules frites!
Ms. Khoo is soon turning out to my favourite cook book author and tv presenter. I love her easy flowing style and manner. Her story is so inspiring and I wish her more success.
Congrats on getting Ms. Khoo to feature on your blog. Such a fantastic opportunity. the giveaway is a super! My favourite French food is coq au vin. Though some people think its pretentious, I think its extremely humble and a good-natured dish whose sauce I love to mop with with a piece of bread. 🙂
My favourite french dish is Confit de Canard. I love your blog Thanh!
I love a nice creme brulee! Yum!
Think I’m going to have to go with crepes – although croissants come pretty close 🙂
Great interview! Have to agree with many people – a warm fresh baguette smeared in butter. Yum 🙂
I love Rachel Khoo! Thanks for such a wonderful interview. My darling boyfriend and I watch her on TV and ooh and aah over the gorgeous food and beautiful shots of life in Paris. My favourite French recipes would have to be the simple and classically satisfying ratatouille and the most indulgent dessert creme brûlée.
Great interview! I think that I have to choose Bœuf Bourguignon! Yum!
I absolutely love a crepe complete, complete with a perfect sunny side up egg!
By the way, I just found you blog and I love it – your photography is amazing! Definitely followed 😉
Thanks, Millie! I’m glad you found my blog 🙂 Your fave French dish is a classic from Brittany … makes me hungry thinking about it!
My favorite is eclairs, choux pastry is just amazing! Second place, freshly baked baguette with Brie.
What a stunning picture of Rachel in the poppy fields! And now I absolutely need to go check out Bobbi Brown’s lipgloss…
I need to stop by the Bobbi Brown counter too … I love their tinted moisturiser and foundation sticks. Might treat myself to a new lippie as well 🙂
My favourite french food are croissants
Pain au chocolat nom nom
I love creme de marron.
I just ADORE Rachel Khoo! And you know what, Thanh, I stumbled upon your site when I first googled for Rachel Khoo! I love your blog and how you photograph and style your baking and cooking, and always look forward for your next posting. I’m also enchanted by Ms. Khoo by the fact that she has that Malaysian link 🙂 (I am a Malaysian, married to a French, now living in Lille). The first recipe I tried of hers was Croque Madame, and of yours it was the Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Thyme. They were simply delicious and very popular now in our family. My favourite French food? It’s got to be Quiche Lorraine! I crave to own Rachel Khoo’s cookbooks…
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy visiting my blog 🙂 And even more so that you’ve tried the Braised Chicken with Potatoes & Thyme – that was such an early recipe on this blog! A Quiche Lorraine is such a classic – it’s hard not to love this dish.
I am completely in love with Rachel Khoo’s creative process! French pastry is such a passion of mine! I absolutely adore a simple rustic baguette with a knob of cheese; and along with that a luscious pan au chocolat. I was also delighted to read about the color lipstick Rachel wears, because I am all about red lips! 🙂
I’m a simple girl – just love brioche!
What a surprise!!I have read all the coments and i think i have many french favourites….croissant, onion soup…
My favourite French food?
Croissant confiture ! Mmm
Oh I´d love to have this book! I love onion soup 😛 My boyfriend makes very delicous onion soup!
My favorite French food would have to be Gougères. I could eat a dozen in one sitting. Simply heavenly!
Just give me a fresh loaf of bread any day…
Wooow that’s wonderful, I’d love to have this book. I’ve never been in France but one of my favourite food is Croquembouche.
Have a nice day!!!
Magret de Canard is the best French dish ever 🙂
I love French pastries, crepes, croissants, macarons, but most of all I absolutely love the creme brulee
My favorite French recipe is Pommes Anna—a side dish that goes with anything and when the weather is all grey and you’re tired at the end of the day, I’ve been known to eat a not so small bowl of Pommes Anna for dinner with a glass of wine and call it a delicious dinner! I love your blog—Thank You!
Oh Thanh what a fabulous blog post and the questions were brilliant! I do really need this book! My favourite french food is Cheese! My latest favourite is Boulette d’Avesnes…
Thank you, Hannah! Ooh I love cheese, hence my question to Rachel Khoo. I will definitely look out for some Boulette d’Avesnes! My husband and I are always on the lookout for new cheeses to try.
Well I would have to say that this is a tough one because I absolutely love French cusine . . . So I’ll write the one I just die for and that is Quiche Lorraine !!!!!!
Love Rachel Khoo, her cooking, her style. Amazing! Favourite French food – got to be patisserie – any french cakes or pastries!
My favorite French food is pain au amande!!! But really, for me, the one food that changed my life (which I first tried on my first trip to Paris) was fromage de chevre. The only other goat’s cheese that I had had before was brie, but chevre takes it to a whole other level! And it is now one of my favorite foods.
Congratulations on a great interview Thanh!
My fovourite French dish is definitely crepes!
Thanks, Leone! I love crêpes too 🙂
I was looking for your recipe for lemon drizzle friands to make a batch for my friend’s birthday and found this great interview. I watched Rachel Khoo’s tv program avidly and love her twist on the French classics. Then I found your post on cannelés which has inspired me to try and make some, seeing as I bought some (still unused) moulds last year. How fortuitous! My favourite French recipe would have to be ratatouille make with fresh late summer home grown vegetables. Yum! I also love œufs à la neige. Double yum. Thanks for the fabulous blog. Must get the friands made…
Oh I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog 🙂 How did you get on with the Lemon Drizzle Friands? And I’m glad to have inspired you to bring out your unused cannelés moulds – I wish I had had this recipe a decade ago! But then again, these cannelés are addictive and I probably should restrict myself 😉
Ratatouille is a favourite in our home too. In fact, it’s my husband’s specialty!
I have made your lemon drizzle friands so many times I should know it by heart. My friend loves them as does my family. I made for her birthday; chocolate caramel slice (AWW) and the friands as she is addicted to both and of course she was delighted. I have been informed by her husband that she loves cannelé also. Hopefully, she will be willing to try my efforts this week. There are so many not so great recipes for ratatouille I have struggled to find one that I like. I have had recent success with Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall’s recipe which directs you to cook the vegetables separately so they don’t become a big mush. Anyway, we are leaving for a three vacation to Australia next weekend, so I have masses to do. My family are all there and I am looking forward to seeing everyone…
Lucky you to be travelling to Australia! I’m rather homesick these days …
My husband makes a great ratatouille from the Hiltl cookbook. It’s a cookbook by a popular vegetarian restaurant in Zurich, and the recipe also instructs you to cook the vegetables separately. But I will have a look at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version … it’s always interesting to compare!
Have a great time in Australia! I’m now craving chocolate caramel slices!
As many other people, I came across Rachel Khoo on the T.V. Love her style of cooking and everything i’v seen her make I just want to devour. I think my favourite French food has to be patisserie, closely followered by warm crusty baguette ummmm!
Duck al Orange….With an overgrown orange tree I was able to try and try and try this recipe as a girl until I got it right…now I can do it in my sleep and still impress.
Nothing beats Macarons!
All things pastry,eclairs,gateaus,paris brest,creme brulee and nothing comes close to fresh baguette and roquefort spread on it.
It may be cliche but croissants are my most favorite of all french food!
My favourite is definitely a nice Creme Brulee – absolutely delicious and simply melts in your mouth 😀
OMG….love love loves escargot in butter & garlic & frogs legs.Also coq au vin & could say many many more! Just love French food!!
Quiche. The ultimate brunch food.
I love strawberry tarts!
nice post and beautiful pictures…as always on your blog 🙂 I have been reading all your post almost from your blog start. My favorite french food would be the desserts: eclairs for example.
Have a great day,
A handcut Steak Tartare with a side of finely shaved Horseradish is life-changing!
Chocolate croissants! The best of chocolate and flakey, buttery goodness.
Lovely post and your blog! I adore Rachel Khoo, she’s so inspiring person!
And I love macarons and duck confit! 🙂
I have enjoyed receiving you emails…thank you! I am a big fan of Beef bourguignon with homemade French bread.
I’m glad to hear you have enjoyed my emails 🙂 I only recently started this new newsletter service and I’m happy to hear you like them!
Desert is food right? Crème brûlée for sure!!
Lovely interview with a stunning chef too! 🙂
And by desert I mean desSert. Oops!
Of course, dessert is absolutely food! Love crème brûlée too 🙂
It’s unanimous in our house – madeleines! My 3 & 5 year olds especially love helping me make Rachel Khoo’s raspberry & lemon curd madeleines…mmm….heaven…..
almond croissant…maybe with chocolate, too! and of course sprinkled with powdered sugar!
I would have to say, it’s her take on Boeuf Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings.
Favorite French food…….has to be a simple baguette stuffed with Camembert.
A classic croissant is something I thank the french for every time I have one. It can be compared to that one lipstick you always use bevause it just works beautifully every time.
Favourite French food…snail bread, otherwise known as pain au raisin. perfect way to start the day
Quiche Lorraine from the Little Paris Kitchen.
Pain au chocolat. I love that you are doing this blog. I look forward to trying some of your recipes. I am still a little nervous. 🙂
Thanks, Sherry! No need to be nervous at all! You are already a fabulous cook 🙂
This is like being asked to name your favourite child!
Oh go on then, la saucisse de Morteau.
Keep up the excellent work Rachel, we love it
My favourite french food is moelleux au chocolat, especially the one with a salted caramel filling in the little Paris kitchen
Lovely Interview with Rachel 🙂
The past Week I did her Bouef Bourgignon ….. Wonderful Recipe … My Boys ate it without complains, was so Happy!!! … Now its in my Recipes To Do Book.
My favourite french food is tomate farcie! I could eat it every day!
My favourite French food is Crepe Suzette.
I love macarons!
I met a French lady once who make the most delicious clafoutis.
My favourite Fench food is ratatouille 😉
I favourite is cheese soufflé, plain and simple
Thank you for this lovely giveaway!
My favourite French food is Blanquette de boeuf,and for the dessert: eclair au chocolat!
I guess that would be.. Pain au chocolat for breakfast, Coq au vin for dinner and Moelleux au chocolat for dessert.
Coq au vin! Yum, yum 😀
It’s got to be macarons! x
One of my favorite french treats has to be pain au chocolat 🙂
Tarte Tatin! Boeuf bourguignon! Cidre! Soupe a l’Oignon! Mousse au Chocolat! Quiche Lorraine! <3 Vive la France! 😉
Ps. Rachel I love your feminine style & makeup!!! And all those fab dresses! Awesome 😉
Rachel’s buckwheat gallettes as they are dairy/egg/wheat free so my little boy can have pancakes on pancake day!
Chocolate croissant with a hot chocolate – Only in France is chocolate overload an acceptable breakfast option.
I just loved Rachel Khoi, t.v. Show, little kitchen in Paris, she is adorable with such charm, I loved everything she cooked and showed what one can do in a tiny kitchen, It was always a dream of mine, and having been in catering, I know how hard it is, well done!
I wish there were more of those t.v. Shows from her as it simply a joy, her bubbly disposition make one feel at ease,
If she is married now I,m happy for her, and hope she is happy,
I,m a great grandmother writing from Israel, but still enjoying cooking, would love her books, and if possible to see more of that sweet, pretty, bubbly Rachel Khoo on more t.v. Shows, good luck to her for her future
Brenda Godfrey Jerusalem Israel
That’s so wonderful to hear that you are also a big fan of Rachel Khoo. If you enjoy watching her shows on TV, I think you would also enjoy her little cooking videos on here on YouTube. You will find some really lovely and useful recipes there 🙂
I love your cooking show,3 years later and still cooking one of your recipes(chicken dumplings) my children love it they can’t get enough of it. deliciously good. I wish I could see your show again on TV.
Hi Essie, I’m sure Rachel would be thrilled to hear that your family enjoys her recipes 🙂 I hope Rachel will back on the screens again soon too!