What do you hope to do with your career now that Masterchef has ended?
I'm still exploring the possibilities since finishing MasterChef and have been undertaking a range of events from private dining to supper clubs and from cooking demonstrations to Christmas parties. I think in the long run I will try to take the business in the direction of private dining as if allows me to be creative with every menu, work with some wonderful chefs and in great locations, and work closely with my diners. It will also afford me time to dedicate to writing a book or getting involved in exciting new projects.
What was your favourite challenge on the show?
My favourite challenge had to be cooking for the Red Arrows. I'm a big kid at heart so getting to cook for the team in Lincoln was a dream come true. We were under immense pressure and there was a lot at stake but at the end of the challenge, I was so proud of the food we produced, especially considering our kitchen was a tent on a runway. It's something I'll never forget. We worked so well as a team and I'm proud to have worked alongside Simon, Pete and Sarah in that challenge.
What is the biggest thing that you learnt about yourself over the process?
You learn a lot about yourself during MasterChef and amazingly it's not always just about your cooking skills. I think I really found I developed as a person, how I handle stress, challenges and disappointment. My cooking has come on leaps and bounds since, but I'm also more rounded and able to tackle anything that's thrown at me now.
If you could only cook one of the recipes that you cooked over the Masterchef process again, what would it be & why?
I cooked a Caramel Frappuccino dessert in an early round and since finishing the show it's what most people ask me about. It was my first real chance at creating a bespoke dessert and something I'd never really done before but it's also what's now forged my reputation for puddings. I was very pleased with my feedback and would be happy to keep producing plates of food of that quality.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Such a tricky question as there are so many to choose from including my grandmother who really started my passion for food, but I think it would have to be Michel Roux Jr. It's his style of food that I most admire and aspire to and although I try to create my own style, I would be very interested to hear what he thinks of my food. As for the menu, I think it would have to be a Pigeon dish I have been developing over recent weeks and my Pimm's and Lemonade dessert which demonstrates technique, flavour and has a real sense of humour in it's presentation.