TV Quickfire: Big Zuu on his Bafta nomination and cooking for Harry Redknapp
As the second series of Big Zuu's Big Eats returns to Dave, we find out more about the new shows from the grime artist-turned-chef
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT YOUR BAFTA NOMINATION?
MY MANAGER called me at 7.45am, which means it's definitely important. Luckily, my phone was on loud next to my bed, so I woke up like, "Who's calling me at this time?"
He said, "Zuu – you're nominated for a Bafta!". I was like, "nah, nah, nah", but he was like, "yes Zuu, it's happened".
DO YOU FEEL YOU'RE OFFERING SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO OTHER TV CHEFS?
One million percent. I grew up watching food programmes and the more I watch food programmes, the more I understand why what we're doing is so important for representation, for young people. This is what we want to see on telly – more representation. Because most of your chefs are predominantly older white men, it makes you think, when you see this young mixed race guy with his two Arab friends cooking on Dave.
WHICH GUESTS FEATURE IN THE SECOND SERIES?
We've got Mr Harry Redknapp, we've got Maya Jama, we've got Mo [Gilligan] the comedian. We've got sick comedians, people like Natasia Demetriou, Rose Matafeo, James Acaster. We've got a really good mix of people, and the fact that they're not just comedians now, we've been able to squeeze in some celebs here and there, it's broadened the horizons of the show.
DO YOU VISIT ANY WEIRD AND WONDERFUL LOCATIONS?
We've changed it from just going to comedy shows to rocking up anywhere. You might be going to play golf, which Harry Redknapp was doing. He was just gonna play some golf and then we pull up in the big food truck like, "hey Mr Harry. We're going to park our food truck in your beautiful expensive Golf Club and we're going to cook you some dinner.".
WHAT DID YOU END UP COOKING FOR HIM?
I won't give away too much with the food. He's a proper traditional British man, loves his classic English meals. So we just gave all of them a little spin – and we definitely surprised him.
He kept telling us about his wife called Sandra, a very famous lady, and how he is going to try to teach her some of the things that we taught him. We also found out that he's a really bad chef; he's not good at cooking at all.
WHICH GUESTS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
James Acaster. He is so hilarious. He's one of the funniest people I've ever met. On the show, he kept on asking for Tubsey and Hyder, because obviously the guests don't really get to meet Tubsey and Hyder. All he cared about was Tubsey and Hyder, which was beautiful to see.
DO YOU THINK LOCKDOWN HAS IMPROVED PEOPLE'S COOKING?
What was so amazing to see was more and more people started cooking on their social media. A couple friends made separate accounts just to do cooking, because they got really passionate about it.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK DURING LOCKDOWN?
Probably wedges. Potato wedges. As simple as it sounds, they're so good. You don't have to boil them, don't have to fry them, don't have to prepare them. You literally chop them into wedgey formations, cover them in salt and pepper, add a bunch of butter, garlic and thyme, in the oven. Come back an hour and a half later and you have pure happiness just there, bubbling away.
WHAT'S YOUR IDEA OF FOOD HELL?
Probably mushrooms and cucumber. A mushroom and cucumber salad. I'd be like, "Eurgh, please get that away from me". A big Portobello mushroom – that's my nightmare.
Big Zuu's Big Eats returns to Dave tonight.