Khalaf emerged from the original 20 contestants to present a winning range of dishes largely inspired by his Iraqi roots and was awarded the trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
Khalaf said: “I am absolutely in shock. I can’t believe it, it’s an incredible feeling. This show I have been watching since I was in school and to have gone from being a fan of the show to winning the thing – this is without a doubt the biggest achievement of my life.”
Wallace said: “Riyadh has always been flambouyant, he’s always shown creativity and he’s always been passionate. I think Riyadh’s cooking came of age today.”
Torode added: “You look at those three dishes and I thought they were restaurant quality. Some people just get better, their food finer but more importantly more and more delicious. A deserved winner.”
In the final episode, Khalaf, alongside fellow finalists Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sam Quek, had two hours to present a flawless three-course meal, cooked to the very highest standards to impress the judges.
Khalaf's winning menu was a starter of monkfish scampi in beer batter with wild garlic mayonnaise and a lemon and onion seed garnish; a main course of beef fillet with port shallots, celeriac cream and a parmesan tuile; and to finish, white chocolate fondant with rhubarb poached in elderflower liqueur, topped with crumbled pistachio and edible flowers.
His fanbase was overjoyed.
To be fair, his creations looked delicious, as most viewers seemed to agree.
Quek blew the final by being late to finish, even though her combination of a starter of miso scallops, prawn done three ways and mango and passionfruit pavlova was overall judged a success by the judges, especially the "stunning" desert.
Pinsent created chicken ravioli to start with, followed by venison done two ways.
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