Theme 5: Food

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you like to cook?
Mandy: Not really no  … most of the time I eat ready meals and take-aways … that’s one of the reasons I love visiting my mum … you can always guarantee lovely home-cooked food

Examiner: What time do you usually eat dinner?
Michelle: We have our main meal at around 7.00 … I’m usually starving hungry by then … in fact I often grab a bite to eat as soon as I get home from college … a sandwich perhaps … but not too much to spoil my appetite …

Examiner: Are there any types of food you don’t like?
Lionel: No not really … I’m not a fussy eater at all … actually I eat like a horse … I do a lot of sport and work up quite an appetite

Part 2-style task

Describe a restaurant that you like to use. You should say

·        where this restaurant is

·        what kind of food it serves

·        how often you go there

and say why you like eating there so much.

Howard:  OK … this is a nice topic to talk about … there’s a restaurant just around the corner from where I live … it’s an Italian restaurant so as you’d expect you can eat various pasta dishes and pizzas and I usually go there with my family for a slap-up meal if we have anything to celebrate … it’s quite a posh restaurant … the kind of place you would take someone if you wanted to wine and dine them … we usually order a 3-course meal … a light starter then a main dish … and I have quite a sweet tooth so I always look forward to the dessert … I usually order Tiramisu … it makes my mouth water just to think about it … I’m always totally full up by the end … why do I enjoy it there … well … it’s not cheap … my parents always foot the bill and we couldn’t afford to go there regularly so it’s always a nice treat  …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: How can we encourage people to eat more healthily?
Anna: I think the best approach is to have everything in moderation … processed food won’t kill you if you only eat it occasionally … but people should also be encouraged to eat a balanced diet … try to cook fresh ingredients at home a few times a week …

Examiner: Do you think people enjoy their food as much as they should?
Florrie: I don’t know really … I suppose it’s true that people will often eat a quick snack because they’re bored not because they’re dying of hunger … and often they just bolt it down and don’t savour it … so yes … perhaps we could take more time over our food …

Examiner: Do you think cooking is a pleasure or a chore for people who have busy lives?
Julie: Well … whether you follow a recipe or make something up as you go along … I think cooking is a very creative process … and cooking for other people is a particular pleasure … there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people you love tucking into something you’ve cooked yourself …


·        to be full up: to eat to the point that you can no longer eat any more

·        to be starving hungry: an exaggerated way of saying you are very hungry

·        to bolt something down: to eat something very quickly

·        to be dying of hunger: an exaggerated way of saying you are hungry

·        to eat a balanced diet: to eat the correct types and amounts of food

·        to eat like a horse: to eat a lot

·        to follow a recipe: to cook a meal using instructions

·        to foot the bill: to pay the bill

·        a fussy eater: somebody who has their own very high standards about what to eat

·        to grab a bite to eat: to eat something quickly (when you’re in a rush)

·        to have a sweet tooth: to enjoy sugary food

·        home-cooked food: food cooked at home from individual ingredients

·        the main meal:  the most important meal of the day, usually eaten in the evening

·        to make your mouth water: to make you feel very hungry for something

·        to play with your food: to push food around the plate to avoid eating it

·        processed food: commercially prepared food bought for convenience

·        a quick snack: to eat a small amount of food between meals

·        a ready meal: see ‘processed food’

·        a slap up meal: a large meal

·        to spoil your appetite: to eat something that will stop you feeling hungry when it’s meal-time.

·        a take away: a cooked meal prepared in a restaurant and eaten at home

·        to tuck into: to eat something with pleasure

·        to wine and dine: to entertain someone by treating them to food and drink

·        to work up an appetite: to do physical work that leads to you becoming hungry