|Age: 41||From: South London||Job: Freelance event caterer|
“I grew up in Erith, Kent, until I was 18, with my two brothers and two sisters.
“My journey into food started with my parents. It was about getting quality time with them as there are five of us, so to spend time with dad we would go to the allotment with him and as for mum, she’s a wonderful cook, so we’d all try and do some baking with her and our reward was to lick the mixing bowl or wooden spoon! My love of cooking desserts comes from mum; she blew me away.
“I still, even now, go to the allotment with my dad when I can and as for mum’s baking, there’s always a cake or something that she’s made ready to eat when anyone visits.
“From the age of 13 or 14 I knew what I wanted to do. My first job in a hotel was pretty daunting.”
“Whilst training, my head chefs gave me great guidance and taught me how food should be respected.
“I love all areas of cooking but I have a great passion for making desserts and celebration cakes.
“There isn’t anything I don’t like about my job, I love what I do and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
The MasterChef experience
“I truly never thought that I would get to the final, it was a fantastic feeling!
“My most challenging moment in the competition has to be the Skills Test with Monica and Gregg. I started making the crepe soufflé, then my mind just went totally blank, and my nerves got the better of me. It was terrifying.
“My highlight of the series was cooking at Tom Kerridge’s, the Hand and Flowers with Anton in the semi-finals – it was fantastic, I didn’t want to leave.
“I believe in myself a lot more as a chef than when I first started this competition. The people that have critiqued my food have said some amazing things – now I’ve got to start believing in it!”
“My dream is to have a cookery school and I’d also love a few restaurants, with a really relaxed theme and great food in a modern British style. We have some fantastic produce out there which I think should be used more and it’s what I’ve grown up with.
“Who knows what the future has in store, but now is the time to start working on achieving some of my ambitions! It’s very exciting!”