Meet the Khoollect cooks: Nicola Millbank of Milly Cookbook

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

On Monday 2 January we will be launching a very special cookbook in collaboration with Hellmann’s, Maille, Knorr and Colman’s, featuring recipes for you to try at home. Providing fellow cooks each with an individual ingredient, we have called upon our Khoollect cooks to create a recipe for the cookbook.

One of these cooks is creator of Milly Cookbook, Nicola Millbank. We sat down with Milly to discuss all things food, and of course, what she will be sharing for our e-cookbook with her hero ingredient: Hellmann’s Real Mayonaise.

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Nicola ‘Milly’ Millbank

Instagram handle:


Tell us, what recipe will you be sharing in the new e-cookbook?

Orange Blossom and Honey cupcakes.

What do you love about this dish; why did you choose this particular recipe? (what do you love about it?)

Cupcakes are my absolute go-to for a homemade gift and the taste of orange blossom, and honey turns these into something that little more decadent and refined. Using mayonnaise in this recipe makes for light and fluffy cupcakes, which I love.

What’s your go-to weeknight meal?

A slow-cooked, hearty ragu that I’ve made over the weekend. When I’m strapped for time I know that with minimal effort I can add it to pappardelle pasta, a jacket potato or rice teamed with a fresh green salad for an easy but wholesome meal.

And your favourite comfort food?

Carbonara with crispy pancetta and lashings of Parmesan. Not the poor excuse of a carbonara I frequently see in restaurants with half a bucket of double cream added in, but the classic; made only with egg yolks and plenty of Parmesan.

What dishes will you be sharing with your nearest and dearest during the festive season?

I’m hosting Christmas dinner this year so I’m under a bit of pressure but the Christmas lunch is one of my favourite things to cook and eat. I once heard someone I work with say that Christmas lunch was like a roast dinner; I died a little inside. Mine is as indulgent as it comes but everything is prepped the day before. Mine consists of cranberry, orange, sage and chestnut stuffing; Parmesan, gruyere and thyme crispy parsnips; shredded sprouts with brandy, crispy prosciutto and a dash of cream to accompany crispy roasties; red wine cabbage, honeyed carrots; and turkey with port and cranberry gravy.

What’s your best piece of cooking advice for the novice cook?

Preparation is key. If you’re following a recipe, have everything chopped and ready to go or you might end up with burnt meat by the time you’ve chopped your onion! On Sunday, make a big batch of stew, soup or bolognese to portion and keep in the freezer, You’ll be thankful for it on those cold nights when you get in and can’t be bothered to cook.

What have you got planned for 2017?

I’ll be filming a TV show for a few months early on in the year and working on the release of my debut Cookbook, Milly’s Real Food published by HarperCollins on 4 May 2017. Then straight to work on book two, which we’ll be shooting in Stockholm again and I’ll begin working on another exciting project I’ve just signed off on, which I hope to share with you all very soon. In between all that, we’ll be planning our wedding for early 2018.


This post has been created in partnership with Hellmann’s, Maille, Knorr and Colman’s

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Meet the Khoollect cooks

Marija Khoo shares the story behind her recipe, here.