IELTS Speaking topic - food and cuisine 1

IELTS Speaking topic – Food and cuisine #1

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a time you had a meal at a café or a restaurant.
You should say:

  • what the place was
  • the meal you had
  • whether  you enjoyed it

and say if you would like to eat there again.

Model answer

When I was in high school I had to have a meeting with my tutor. She called me and said that she was running late so I decided to have lunch at the school cafeteria. It’s a nice place on the ground floor with reasonably priced dishes. That’s where you would usually meet your fellow students and teachers during midday break.

As I hadn’t been too hungry I only ordered a couple of beef sandwiches, a slice of lemon pie and a cup of coffee. Because there are so many visitors to this place the food doesn’t go stale, so it’s always nice and fresh. You could really tell that they bake their own cakes rather than order them from another place like many other eateries. Overall, the meal was really great and I spent almost no money on it.

I did go there again, in fact I would habitually go there for lunch. Since I had been spending the better part of my day there, I would only have dinners at home. I really miss this place as now I have graduated and have no reason to go back to my high school building.

IELTS Speaking Part 3


Is it important to preserve national cooking traditions? Why?
I believe so, yes – we have to hold on to the tried and true approach to cooking. As world becomes more globalised, the old saying “we are what we eat” becomes as relevant as ever. Fast food franchises rapidly take over the world and you can eat the same exact chicken and French fries wherever you please. While this can be a positive development for some fussy eaters, it also takes away the uniqueness and character of travelling. People are less likely to go for the less known but much more exciting street food vendor if there is their favourite burger chain restaurant just around the corner.

What can you tell about a country from their cuisine?
I believe that country’s cuisine is a reflection of their world view as well as their cultural heritage. Let’s take Italy to exemplify a country that is rich in both their recipes and culture of eating. Their food is cooked using only the finest natural ingredients with fair amount spices and seasoning. One the other hand, we have fairly young countries like the US. Americans can be puzzled when asked about their cuisine, and they would often name hamburgers as their national signature dish. Naturally, fast food should not be considered a part of cuisine. All of this is owing to the relative short period of American culture existing hence it hasn’t had time to nourish proper culture of cooking and eating.

Food and health

Some people people that fast food is unhealthy. Others disagree. What do you think?
On one hand it has been scientifically proven that excessive consumption of fast food often leads to a number of health conditions. Obesity and various heart problems are the most common results of overindulging on fast food. We should keep in mind that fizzy drinks and burgers go hand in hand, so increased sugar levels and likelihood of diabetes are on the menu as well. However, one has to understand that these terrible consequences are a result of having too much fast food. Ultimately, most things are good in moderation, even the frowned-upon chicken wings and milk shakes.

Which is more dangerous – eating too much or not eating enough? Why?
The situations in the question normally have different causes – one can choose to eat less but if you have insufficient food you simply can’t magically have more of it. Therefore the latter is probably more risky – your muscles grow weak from malnourishment, your immune system becomes more vulnerable, you feel irritable and feeble. You have no control over how much you eat in this situation, unless you willingly limit your daily calorie intake. And while overeating is harmful to your body, you can choose to eat less, and therefore it is not as bad.

Even nowadays, many people on our planet don’t have enough money to eat. How can this be changed?
It is very sad that we are still facing the problem of famine in 2022. In order to tackle the issue, we first have to establish the causes of this sad state of affairs. The two most common reasons are unexpected droughts and human conflicts such as ongoing warfare operations. The latter falls out of the scope of the question as this is a much more complex problem. The problem of insufficient irrigation can be mitigated by anticipating unreasonably hot summers and stockpiling on water supplies. Doing due diligence in farming is crucial and by making sure there is no waste of resources or mismanagement, the crop yield can be increased considerably.

Food and cuisine vocabulary

Cafeteria (n) – a type of restaurant where you have a tray and choose food you want to eat then pay for it at the end of the line
Slice (n) – a thing piece of some food, e.g. a cake or meat
Go stale – (about food) – to grow hard and inedible because it’s been sitting for too long
Eatery (n) – a place such as a café or a restaurant
Franchise (n) – a ready-to-use business model where you pay a fee to join it and open a branch, e.g. McDonalds
Fussy eater – a person who is very picky or peculiar about the food they eat
Seasoning (n) – spices and other additives that change the taste of food
Signature dish – a special dish unique or associated with a particular place or person
Overindulge on smth – have too much of something, esp. something that you like and which is not very good for you
Fizzy drinks – carbonated drinks such as Cola or Fanta
On the menu – (should not be understood literally) likely to happen
Malnourishment (n) – the condition of not eating enough food
Daily calorie intake – the amount of calories you receive in a day
Famine (n) – global state of hunger

General vocabulary

To run late – another way of saying ‘to be late’
Habitually (adv) – if you do something habitually, you do it regularly, as a habit
The better part – about time: more than a half. Has nothing to do with it being good or bad in a literal sense
Hold on to smth – keep something
Tried and true – old but effective, traditional
Exemplify (v) – to use as an example
Nourish (v) – to encourage growth and development
Excessive (adj) – more than needed, used negatively
Frowned-upon (adj) – unwelcome, berated by society
Irritable (adj) – if someone is irritable they are easily upset and get angry quickly
Feeble (adj) – physically weak
Drought (n) – a natural phenomenon when there is not enough rainfall in the area
Out of the scope – if something is out of the scope of something, it does not include it or does not concern itself with it.
Irrigation (n) – a technical term that means ‘to give water to plants or crops’
Anticipate (v) – to understand or expect that something is about to happen
Stockpile (v) – to collect and gather something in great amount

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