While classical French cuisine will always have its place, today’s Parisian food scene is full of young innovators who aren’t afraid to mix things up. Rachel Khoo, one of Paris’ premiere “food creatives,” is doing just that. A graduate of London’s Saint Martins College of Art and Design and of Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie school, Rachel combines her technical culinary training with her eye for style and aesthetics.
The result? A delicious portfolio of food-related projects that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.
I caught up with Rachel at Bob’s Juice Bar—a foodie hangout just off the hip Canal St. Martin—where she is a regular. Over smoothies and Thai pumpkin soup, we talked about her approach to culinary entrepreneurship and the evolving food scene in Paris.
HiP: So what does it mean to be a “food creative?”
RK: It’s the way I approach food. Whether its consulting, culinary events, food styling, or cookery classes, I always approach it from a creative design point of view… I use food as a way of expressing an idea or concept. It’s a way to communicate with an audience.
HiP: What types of services do you provide for clients?
RK: I give a lot of cookery classes for all different types of clients. I can cater dinner parties or, for clients who want to be more involved, I take them to the market and then go home and cook with them, using local products. I also tour people around to Paris foodie places.
HiP: What makes Paris an ideal place to do this kind of work?
RK: Well, Paris has such a history of food. I’ve built a network here. There’s definitely a foodie scene here.
HiP: From where do you draw ideas and inspiration?
RK: From my network in Paris, blogs, books, magazines, events. The season obviously plays a role in what type of menu you can create. But inspiration comes from everywhere. The last event I did was a “Pie and Mash Up.” I collaborated with a DJ who was doing a musical mash-up, and I made the pies!
HiP: What’s the best thing about your work?
RK: I love it all. I’m really fortunate. The most enjoyable part is probably sharing knowledge with clients, teaching, and being creative with food… I’m really passionate about food, and I’ve always had a sweet tooth.
Some of Rachel’s favorite food havens in Paris:
La Cocotte for cookbooks and inspiration.
Chez Jeanette for young clientele and “dishy” waiters.
Zenzoo for bubble tea.
Read more about Rachel’s innovative approach to food at her website.
Visit her drool-worthy blog for recipes and ideas to inspire your own culinary endeavors.