Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Big Zuu (Birth Name – Zuhair Hassan)

Born in 1995, Big Zuu is an infectiously enthusiastic rapper and grime MC who has already morphed into television and cooked up a culinary storm. Here, indeed, is an example of a young person who is the pinnacle of positivity and someone easily able to aptly cross social divides.

 

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Having spent six months behind the grill at the fast food chain Nando’s, this self-taught cook began sharing his passion for food with “West African and Middle Eastern vibes” in a Dave series named Big Zuu’s Big Eats in 2019. Guests on his BAFTA nominated show have thus far included Jimmy Carr, Maya Jama and Josh Widdicombe and with his wicked humour and wacky approach, the nation has been understandably captivated.

 

With over 70,000 followers on Twitter and 167,000 on Instagram, this “avid Liverpool Football Club supporter” has published a cookery book featuring over 100 affordable recipes. He sets out to “prove that you don’t need a Michelin star education to chef up some serious food creations” and his work mentoring young children is to be saluted also.

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Described by television presenter Stacey Dooley MBE as a “superstar,” the lamb jollof loving rapper-chef told The Voice in 2020:

 

Big Zuu’s Big Eats is the show for people who don’t live near a Waitrose or who can’t afford to go to one. I’m a massive fan of all cooking programmes, but I think this show stands out as we’re sourcing the food from local shops rather than big chains.”

 

“I’m hoping it proves to people, especially in my generation, that cooking can be a fun and affordable experience. A lot of people I know can’t be bothered to cook and think it costs too much so they’d rather just get fast food. Hopefully, BZBE’s can change that for some people.”

 

“I also don’t think there are many shows where there is a grime MC with his two best mates, cooking for world famous comedians in a food truck! Haha!”

 

Zuhair Hassan appeared on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen in March 2022 and though brought up on the notorious Mozart Estate in Kilburn – referenced as “Crack City” by the BBC in 2011 – like our late, great favourite fellow council estate born cooking hero Keith Floyd, here indeed could be a larger-than-life talent that ‘Auntie’ should most definitely make more with. We echo the sentiments of Mr Floyd and with a hearty glass of red say: “Cheers to Big Zuu.”

 

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In October 2021, the anything but pretentious rapper turned self-styled ‘Roux Lord’ told ‘NewsChain’ that his hangover cure is “toast, toast, a lot of toast, thick slices of toast with butter and jam and you’re back in the game.” He added that he’s “not a fan of cucumbers and mushrooms” and claimed the kitchen utensil he couldn’t live without to be a wooden spoon. As a child, he shared, his mum used to buy him macaroni cheese in a can from Lidl.
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Speaking to ‘Whitehaven News’ in December 2020, the big-haired rapper-turned-chef spoke of how he first taught himself to cook as a teenager. He claimed to “watch food programmes all day” and modestly stated: “I never thought I’d have a programme that people absolutely love binge-watching.”
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In May 2021, the rapper-turned-chef participated in a cook-off with KISS FM UK’s Alex Mansuroglu after being driven around and interview in a Jeep branded with his show’s name. The presenter remarked: “You’re a young black guy doing a cookery show. Who else does that?”
In March 2022, this refreshingly enthusiastic chef made his debut on ITV1’s ‘This Morning’ whilst preparing his recipe for a Lebanese pizza. He remarked: “Lebanese pizza, we’re coming for you Italians,” spoke of his North African and Lebanese heritage, explained how he’d come to cook for comedians and added: “We just cook people what they love.”

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