Entertainment Post

Big Zuu Talks About Smashing the Mould for Cookery Shows

Photo: Trench Trench Trench

Renowned rapper, actor, TV chef, and radio DJ Big Zuu went viral earlier this year for his acceptance speech in the Baftas. 

One of his famous statements is: “We did this for working-class people. People that come from nothing, bro.” 

The rapper’s Dave show, Big Zuu’s Big Eats, had bagged two TV Baftas. 

For context, Zuu, whose name by birth is Zuhair Hassan, is featured with his childhood best friends Tubsey and Hyder. In the show, they cook different dishes for a celebrity guest every week from their caravan kitchen. 

The show is currently on its third series and has been gaining traction since it debuted in 2020. Although most of the show’s appeal emanates from the tempting dishes and comedic banter between the three – and their guests – there’s also a drive to push the envelope.

The trio comes from refugee backgrounds, a topic that Zuu cited in his Bafta speech. 

“Our main thing when picking a guest is… about representation and having a fair spread of different people, different voices that we kind of give life to because the food we cook is based on the guests,” Big Zuu elaborates. 

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“So, when we cook food for people from different backgrounds, we tap into different cultures and cuisines.” 

In an interview with BBC, Refugee Council’s CEO, Enver Solomon, says: “Refugees, like the family of Big Zuu, are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances who simply want the chance to live in peace, away from the war, conflict and violence that shattered their lives.

“Refugees have so much to contribute to their new communities, across many spheres of society, and it is vitally important they have a voice.” 

Big Zuu’s Big Eats has had several guests of prominent personalities such as Jimmy Carr, Mo Gilligan, Judi Love, and Harry Redknapp. In addition, Mel B and Johnny Vegas appear in series three. 

Zuu also ensures that the food is accessible and affordable, precisely due to the current cost of living. 

“How many people actually say, ‘You know what, I’m gonna go cook what I just was on Channel 4 or on Saturday Kitchen?” the chef asks. 

“No disrespect to my peers [but] sometimes the recipes and ingredients… are not accessible at home. For our show, it’s very important [that you can] make it at home [and can] afford to make it. Even when we do specialist dishes, we like to break the mould and just say: ‘If you ain’t got this [ingredient], use something else.’” 

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