Gok fires up his wok

Gok Cooks Chinese

When Gok Wan waxes lyrical about “great bangers”, he’s usually trying to coax the inner siren out of an under-confident woman.

But the fashion guru’s latest career move could see him extolling the virtues of actual sausages – as long as they’re the Chinese variety.

In the simply-titled Gok Cooks Chinese, the 37-year-old talks viewers through the cuisine he grew so familiar with as the son of a restaurateur and chef, stylishly serving it up in scallop shells, cabbage leaves and the like.

Although he’d “die of embarrassment” if he were ever called a TV chef (“Not because it’s a bad thing. Just because I’m not really. I’m a cook and I do my job on the telly,” he says), Wan insists he has been cooking his whole life.

“I used to work for my dad in the kitchen. And it’s one thing serving food for friends, but another serving it to people who are paying for it, because you have a huge amount of responsibility that comes with it. I think that’s where my confidence comes from.”

With the show, and accompanying cookbook, Wan is keen to debunk some of the myths about Chinese cuisine, and encourage us takeaway-loving Brits – who, he says, eat more Chinese food than roast dinners – to try making it at home.

“The biggest myth is that it’s really unhealthy and complicated and you have to use very exotic ingredients you can only get from Asia. All of that is wrong.

“Traditional Chinese food is super-healthy and it isn’t that complex. Once you’ve got the principles right and the preparation done, the actual cooking is the easiest part.

“It’s a slightly different discipline from cooking western food. Most of the ingredients, bar a handful in the entire book, you can get from a supermarket.”