Learn IELTS Vocabulary: Food

Dec 30, 2021 | IELTS, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Test, IELTS Vocabulary

Food is another topic you are likely to encounter in any part of the test.

Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you don’t know and the words in bold. There are definitions for the words in bold at the end of the page.

Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you like cooking?

Candidate: Cooking is at the heart of my personality! I adore cooking, and do it all the time. I learnt mainly by trial and error, and am now pretty good.

Examiner: What was the last meal you cooked?

Candidate: I conjured up a toad in the hole for dinner last night, and it was scrumptious. I also recently cooked some brunch for my colleagues while we were on a business holiday; everyone lauded  my top-notch cooking skills.

Examiner: Do you prefer home-cooked food or food from restaurants?

Candidate: I’m on the fence when it comes to home-cooked versus eating out: on the one hand I love the personal touch of a home-cooked meal, and I have more agency over what I eat. I also like eating food from restaurants, for the most part because I can unwind and talk to friends more.

Part 2

Describe a foreign food that you would like to try.

You should say:

– what it is
– where you can eat it
– how you know about this food

and explain why you would like to try it.

IELTS Speaking Model Answer - Food © Andrew Turner @ EnglishWithAnExpert.com


I desperately want to try some authentic Chinese street food, in China of course! Of course Chinese “street food” isn’t really a specific dish, but more of a hodgepodge of lots of miscellaneous Chinese dishes, which I find really enchanting! Personally, I love exploring new food and experiencing new tastes, and trying Chinese street food would really fulfil this!

I’ve heard that some Chinese street food places have even earned Michelin stars, which is a monumental achievement. I first thought about this while watching Crazy Rich Asians, and became enamoured with the idea of trying the street food they were eating. The food really popped out at me as I saw the assortment of sticky rice, dumplings, and other delectable cuisine on-screen. It looked mouth-watering!

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: What do people in your country typically eat? [Evaluate]

Candidate: Classic British dishes are Fish and Chips, a roast dinner, and most surprisingly a Tikka Masala! For the most part, British people have picked the unparalleled premium dishes from other countries, eating cuisine such as pizza, curry, spaghetti Bolognese and lasagne. We probably filched most of our food from Italy, now that I think about it!

Examiner: Have eating habits changed in the last 30 years? [Compare]

Candidate: Nowadays people consume a lot more sugar, and are generally more unhealthy than we used to be. There is a lot more unhealthy food to overindulge ourselves on these days, and the rise of microwave meals hasn’t helped. Once upon a time we used to cook all our food more organically, whereas now a lot of our food is inorganic with too many artificial additives.

Examiner: How do you think people could be better educated about food? [Suggest]

Candidate: To cultivate better eating habits, we have to start young. Learning how to home cook as a youngster is vital for developing healthy eating habits as an adult. Forging healthy food habits as a routine is the best way to get people healthy, and good education in schools is our greatest asset for tackling food problems. For adults, adding more warning on labels, though, we should concentrate our food education efforts on children, as adults are a lost cause, and children are the future.

Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary

Part 1

at the heart — in the centre/ the core part of something

adore — to love

trial and error — The method of learning by trying again and again/ learning through attempts and failures

conjured upcreate out of nothing (magical connotations)

scrumptious — tasty

brunch — a meal between breakfast and lunch

colleagues — People you work with

lauded — praised, celebrated

top-notch — the best, elite

on the fence — undecided

on the one hand — indicates the first side of an argument, introduces a statement that will later be contradicted

agency — choice, freedom of decision

for the most part — mostly / usually

unwind  — to relax

Part 2

desperately — to really want something

authentic — Original/ legitimate

miscellaneous  — Random mix of different things

enchantingexciting, enthralling,

fulfil — To achieve something/ to complete a goal

Michelin stars — A food rating system, only given to the best restaurants

monumental  — extremely important/ remarkable

enamoured infatuated, strong feeling of love/ interest

mouth watering — indicator of hunger/ really wanting to eat something

assortment — Collection/group of something

delectable — delicious, tasty

Part 3

Cuisine — A particular style of food

Filched — stole, nicked, took

For the most part — mostly, generally

unparalleled  — Unchallenged

nowadays — Currently, the present

overindulge — to treat yourself too much / overeat/ to fill or overfill

ehereas— instead

artificial additives — man-made chemicals added to food and drink

cultivate — grow / create / develop

youngster — a young person

vital — very important


asset  — a useful or valuable thing

concentrate — focus on

a lost cause — Something you can’t win/ something to give up on

Practice Your IELTS Achievement/Goal Vocabulary 

Record yourself answering this question and send it to us for professional feedback.

Our feedback is based on the official IELTS Speaking Descriptors and will give you precise information on how to improve.

We will publish the details of this service and its prices soon. In the meantime, you can contact us here if you would like to be one of the first.

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