Turning up the heat in the kitchen

IT WAS a sight to behold. Mara Louw flirting and giggling like a schoolgirl.

IT WAS a sight to behold. Mara Louw flirting and giggling like a schoolgirl.

And the object of her affection was internationally acclaimed chef Ainsley Harriott.

The event was the Samsung charity dinner at the upmarket Palazzo Hotel at Montecasino on Wednesday night.

You could forgive her, though, because she was not the only one smitten by the hunky TV celebrity chef.

Most women were literally drooling, though they kept a safe distance.

Admittedly, Harriott is hot. But what makes him even hotter is the fact that he can cook too.

At 52 - having been there, done that and got the T-shirt to show for it - Louw was completely star-struck.

She giggled her way to the front of the queue to get a squeeze and a kiss from the equally excited chef.

"Oh, Ainsley, I am so privileged to meet you. You are my hero. Can I get your autograph," she said.

"I am Mara Louw, I'm also a celebrity. I'm a singer, an actor and I'm an Idols judge.

"I love you," she said before squeezing and kissing him.

The 52-year-old chef responded accordingly.

Asked later what she liked about Harriott, Louw replied: "Harriott is a hot guy.

"Who wouldn't fall in love with a handsome cooking man like him?"

Louw's daughter Lerato seemed equally impressed.

Harriott is one of the UK's most charismatic and enigmatic TV personality chefs. His programmes are available on DStv.

He entertains millions of viewers in the US, Europe and Australia with his unique flare and flamboyance in the kitchen.

His books are equally popular and have sold millions.