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Rachel set to steal Nigella's crown and become queen of the kitchen

Rachel Allen is on track to clinch the title of top celebrity chef from Nigella Lawson after her books proved a massive hit globally.

The Irish chef is now predicted to overtake Nigella in sales of cook books and TV shows.

Since September 2006, Rachel Allen's cookbooks have sold about 600,000 copies in Britain and Ireland.

And now Rachel is tipped to take the crown of top celebrity chef from Ms Lawson.

"I have no doubt Rachel has the potential to be as big as Nigella," said Jenny Heller, an editorial director at HarperCollins, publisher of Allen's cookbooks.

"Rachel is about home and family whereas Nigella is a bit of a vixen. Rachel is the beautiful girl next door."

Rachel (37) trained at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, where she met her husband Isaac Allen, son of Darina, the renowned chef. The couple live in Cork with their three children.


"She's a cook," said Ms Heller. "She's a regular mum and really does live that life, cooking for her kids when she comes home from work. She's a smart, funny woman. She's got it all."

The TV series Rachel Allen: Bake has been bought by more than 30 countries and the accompanying book has sold more than 200,000 copies in the past six months in the UK and Ireland.

Husband Isaac, who looks after the business side of Rachel's career, said that there are currently talks taking place to launch the show in America.

Rachel believes that her success is down to the fact that people are returning to traditional values, in order to save money and eat more healthily.

"A lot of people are going back to those old skills that everyone took for granted," she added.