How a Michelin-trained chef became a TikTok star after showing us how to chop an onion correctly

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Poppy O’Toole, who is also known as Poppy Cooks, is part of a new breed of Tik Tok chefs.

After the Michelin-trained chef lost her job due to a COVID-related redundancy she switched career paths and started sharing her cooking tips online.

It wasn’t long before her social media accounts grew in popularity with Poppy now boasting 1.5 million followers on TikTok and 120k on Instagram.

She even has a recipe book out called The Food You Need in October. It’s fair to say it’s not just her food that is hot right now.

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Here, OK! Quiz her on her viral onion chopping video, her love of potatoes and what her average day entails…

How did it feel to go viral?

It’s strange because I didn’t expect the onion one to do as well as it did. I recorded it for another recipe, and then put this out as an extra bit of content. It’s a lovely feeling that people are taking stuff away from my videos. I’m really proud of what I’m doing and I love being able to teach people across the world – there’s a real sense of pride. I got some stick for it, but who doesn’t?

What other hacks do you have?

I’d recommend using a jar for cutting garlic. You put the cloves in there and shake it quite vigorously and then they all come out peeled.

What does your average day look like?

I set an alarm for 8am as I have to try to keep a bit of structure. If it was up to me I’d probably stay in bed until 1pm and not do anything. I take the dogs for a walk, I go through emails and then I scroll TikTok for an hour or two to see the trends. I’m obsessed with food TikTok – it's a whole beautiful world that you can really get sucked into. From around 10-7 I’m just cooking in the kitchen. It’s busier than you would expect, but I am used to working 70 hours per week. The testing takes a lot of time as I want to make sure everything is perfect when I put it out there.

Your recipes feature quite a lot of potatoes…

I love potatoes. They are my muse and vice. I’d say 75% of my recipes feature them, maybe even more. There’s no end as to what you can do with them. I’m going to have to start wearing a sack and call myself potato lady. I’m obsessed with Spudnuts, which is a doghnut made from mashed potato. They are available in America but not here so I need to make them a thing. I need a spudnut store.

How did you get into food?

I loved eating and I knew from a young age that the way to get more food was by helping in the kitchen. For me now it’s not even the cooking, it’s seeing the joy that something you’ve made can give someone.

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What has it been like creating the Amex Gold Card #ARTFEAST hampers that are available for customers on Deliveroo?

Pip & Pop did the art for the hamper and that was the inspiration behind the menu. The colours, textures and shapes made my mind come alive with ideas. We have so much in there including 'worth their weight in gold spudnuts', 24k gold macarons as well as apple marshmallows which all have some gold on them. I had even more but I couldn’t physically get it all in the box! It means so much to me to think about people enjoying them.

The Amex Gold Card #ARTFEAST hampers, created by Michelin-trained chef Poppy O’Toole and visual artist Pip & Pop, have been created to celebrate Amex Gold Card’s partnership with Deliveroo. The limited edition hampers will be available to order on Deliveroo on Friday June 18 for one day only. To find out more, search ‘Amex Gold’.

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