New insight on reality cooking shows

September 7, 2015 by Keren Cook
Read on for article

New Zealand My Home Chef owner-operator Rita Yosef , a Christchurch-based self-confessed “foodie”, says most cooking reality TV shows are negative.

Rita Yosef

Rita Yosef

For as long as she can remember, Yosef was always watching her grandmother and parents cook. Licking the bowl clean was a vivid part of her childhood memories.

“I was always in the kitchen and with the nice smells. I would taste and enquire and lick the bowls when they finished baking,” Yosef said.

Yosef, is Latvian-born with Jewish parents and moved to Israel when she was 6 years old.

She married into an Israeli family, moving to New Zealand 12 years ago. Before chef work, she ran a business setting up baby bedrooms in Israel.

Now, Yosef wants to empower Kiwis in the kitchen by helping them to get back to the basics.

Yosef is an advocate of the international ‘Slow Food movement’, which is all about good, clean and fair food. Yosef is keen to make cooking more accessible and encourages people to source local ingredients.

It was during her studies in Food Preparation and Cooking at Christchurch Polytechnic that Yosef discovered a passion for working as a private chef.

One of Yosef’s clients – a woman recovering from breast cancer, encouraged her to take the plunge and go out on her own. That was in 2009, and Yosef has never looked back.

Chef Yosef believes that reality-cooking shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules, are mostly negative – saying they can diminish “kitchen confidence”.

“You need to slow down in the kitchen because it’s not cooking show. It’s not about the competition but about making a nice meal for yourself or family in a reasonable time.”

Yosef says: “What you see on television is not actually the healthy cooking and home cooked meals for the family. I want to encourage them to investigate new flavours and spices and cook really nice, healthy food for the family – not just the posh things you see on TV or the fast food things you can buy in the shop.”

Starting simple is key: “When you know the basic things then you can go forward and move on to more complicated recipes and play around afterwards”.

Traditional Jewish dishes, European cuisine, Mediterranean specialties and Eastern European flavours are all part of Yosef’s global repertoire.

The private chef also caters to Paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and organic and vegetarian diets.

Yosef has a large variety of menu options saying her meals are often “cheaper” than dining out, and promises to cook and leave the place “spotless and clean”.

Kids parties, a romantic meal, gift vouchers or healthy meals to your door – is all part and parcel of My Home Chef’s service.

My Home Chef offers a new range of cooking classes due to launch in October. To book a class, call (03) 359 6444.

For more information; visit the My Home Chef Facebook page,

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