Jay Tinker looks back on his MasterChef experience

We talk to the latest evictee about his time on the show, and the advice he was dished up by Gregg Wallace and John Torode

Factfile on Jay Tinker


Jay, 40, is a security director based in Southport. He’s divorced, with two children.

First food memory

I’ve been cooking since the age of ten. My father was an excellent cook and I used to follow him around the kitchen. He passed away when I was 12 and when I was in the kitchen afterwards it felt like I was still with him. That’s why I carried on cooking.

Best moment

“Jay has the most incredible magic touch with a piece of fish,” says John. “It’s an amazing thing, it’s like he just passes his hand over it and honestly, it’s wonderful. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s brilliant.”

Worst moment

When John and Gregg said my bouillabaisse wasn’t really a bouillabaisse.

How about nerves?

“He’s pretty much unflappable,” says Gregg, “but then he’s worked in a pressurised environment doing security. You don’t think of a big man like that, working on the door, being strong and quite imposing, also having a delicate touch.”


I dream of opening a restaurant in Southport where I will get all of my produce within seven miles of the restaurant and eventually earn a Michelin star.

The judges say

John Torode: There is a time during MasterChef that you discover what style you’re most comfortable with and he’s doing that now.

BUT… Gregg Wallace: Jay could be more ambitious. He should stay with his love of classics, but be a little bit more creative.

A word of advice

Gregg Wallace: He should get himself into a classic French kitchen, Michelin-starred or French bistro, because that’s the food he likes.

This is an edited version of an article from the issue of Radio Times magazine that went on sale 6 March 2012.


MasterChef: the Final Three begins on Tuesday 14 March at 9pm on BBC1/BBC1 HD