dine in: dine at home.
   | We’re dining in tonight.

dine out: dine at a restaurant.
   | We’re dining out tonight.

fussy eater: someone who is very picky about the food and doesn’t eat everything.
   | My husband is a fussy eater, and he’s never pleased with my cooking.

home-cooked food: food cooked at home, usually implies that food is healthy.
   | Preparing home-cooked food is a good way to make a balanced meal.

in a walking distance of: close to.
   | I usually dine at a restaurant that’s in a walking distance of my home.

Italian cuisine: traditional Italian food. You can also say French cuisine, Russian cuisine, Chinese cuisine and so on.
   | I adore pasta, pizza and Italian cuisine in general.

more of a chore than a pleasure: something you do rather unwillingly.
   | I think that cooking is more of a chore than a pleasure.

mouthwatering: delicious, appetizing.

my mouth is watering: that is to say you find something very appetizing. People use this expression when they see/smell food that looks very delicious.
   | My mouth is watering every time I think about my grandmother’s apple pie.

nutritious products: products rich in calories.
   | A nutricious breakfast is a great way to start the day, as it gives your body the nutrients and you get enough energy.

processed food: food that has been modified in an undesirable or unhealthy way to achieve its current state.
   | Try to avoid processed foods like flavored nuts and cereal bars. It is much healthier to eat organic food.

quality justifies the bill: when a product is worth buying due its good quality, even if it’s expensive.
   | I first thought those strawberries were too expensive, but when I tasted them I understood that their quality justified the bill.

quick snack: a light and quick meal, usually unhealthy.
   | Eating quick snack instead of main meal can be harmful for stomach.

ready meal: a meal that you buy already cooked, which only requires reheating to be eaten.
   | I had no desire to cook, so I bought a ready meal in a nearby supermarket.

restrain one’s hunger: to avoid eating when you really want to. Usually practiced during diets.
   | John couldn’t restrain his hunger anymore and went to the nearest fast-food restaurant.

slap-up meal: a quick and fatty meal. To slap up means to cook something very quickly.
   | I feel like making a slap-up meal tonight.

starving hungry: to be extremely hungry.
   | I woke up starving hungry yesterday and ate the whole roast chicken.

take-away: a meal prepared in a café/restaurant and eaten at home.
   | I’m going to ring the Japanese restaurant and order a takeaway.

the main meal: the most important meal of the day.

to be dying of hunger: an exaggerated way of saying you are really hungry.
   | I haven’t eaten all day. I’m dying of hunger!

to be full-up: to eat to the point that you can’t eat anymore.
   | Would you like more chips? – No, thank you, I’m already full-up!

to be ravenous (to have ravenous appetite): to be really hungry, starving, voracious.
   | After working all day, I had a ravenous appetite.

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

to bolt something down: to eat a large amount of food very quickly.
   | Don’t bolt your food down like that, it’s very rude!

to catch a snack: to eat a little portion of food very quickly.

to eat a balanced diet: to eat correctly and in time.

to eat like a horse: to always eat a lot.
   | She’s so thin, yet she eats like a horse.

to follow a recipe: to cook a meal using instructions.
   | Although she had never cooked a jugged hare before, she followed a recipe and made a fantastic meal.

to foot the bill: to pay the bill.
   | You paid for dinner last time. Let me foot the bill for lunch today.

to grab a bite to eat: to eat something quickly.
   | I won’t eat the whole cake, just let me grab a bite to eat.

to have a sweet tooth: to enjoy eating sweet food.
   | Dave eats candy all the time. He must have a sweet tooth.

to overeat oneself: eat too much, eat immodestly.
   | If you overeat, you’re bound to get fat.

to play with your food: to push food around the plate without eating it.

to spoil your appetite: to do something that would hinder your desire to eat.
   | Stop talking about the snails, you’re spoiling my appetite!

to tuck into: to eat something greadily and with pleasure.
   | After not eating the whole day, he tucked into the ham like a savage.

to wine and dine: to banquet, to “entertain with good food”. If you wine and dine someone, you usually take him out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
   | The company wined and dined us, hoping to convince us we should accept the job.

to work up an appetite: to do something that will lead to hunger.
   | He must have worked up an appetite in the gym.



IELTS Speaking sample about Food


Part 1   

What kinds of meals do you like?

Oh, I adore different meat plates… My mouth is watering whenever I see roast beef, grilled chicken or pork chops… However, I don’t like to cook… That’s why I often eat ready meals and take-aways.

Do you often dinner with your family or friends?

Well, I try to dinner with my family as often as possible… Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time for such dinners due to my busy schedule

When do you usually eat dinner?

I usually have main meal at about 4 p.m. … I’m starving hungry by then and sometimes overeat myself

Are there any fruits or vegetables you don’t like? Why?

Yes, there are… I’m not a fussy eater, but I really hate onions and seafood… I try to avoid meals that might contain these products…

And what is your favourite cuisine?

Well, I love French cuisine for its versatility and flavorful ingredients…. French cuisine has a variety of dishes, starting from their famous onion soup and ending with cheese fondue… Also, it rarely uses artificial ingredients or flavors.  

Part 2   

Now, have a look at the card and prepare a monologue.

Describe a place you like to eat at. You should say:
Where is it
What kind of food it serves
Why do like its food
and how often do you eat there


I would like to talk about a nice little restaurant in a walking distance of my apartment called “La Pasta”… It is situated on the ancient street in the old city centre… This restaurant serves various meals of Italian cuisine that I enjoy… For example, they serve extremely delicious pasta, pizza and tomato soup… I particularly love their pasta… It is very versatile food, and can be made in many ways… I general, I love Italian food because it is all about fresh, flavorful ingredients… That’s why I eat in that restaurant every now and then with my family and friends… Although it’s not cheap, its quality justifies the bill   

Part 3  

How can we make people eat healthier food?

The best approach for this problem is to strike a balance between junk food and healthy food… You can eat unhealthy ever so rarely, if you manage to eat nutritious products the majority of the time… I eat junk food myself, by I try not to abuse my health…

Do you think people enjoy what they eat on a regular?

I don’t really know, but I’m leaning towards a negative answer… People are often lazy when chosing their meals… They try to catch a snack to restrain their hunger… But it is neither healthy nor enjoyable…

Do you think that cooking is a pleasure a burden for most people?

I can’t speak for everybody, but I think that cooking is more of a chore than a pleasure… But it really depends on a person… Some people might love cooking… If it is their passion or a beloved job, then it’s good for them… But I’m not among those people… Personally, I prefer dining out. 


IELTS Food Vocabulary

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 of 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 mealtime.

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   

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