Cooking shows have become a real staple for TV networks the world over and while there seems to be a million different shows featuring Gordon Ramsay, much of the food, as beautiful as it looks, seems really complicated and too difficult for many of us kitchen novices.

Thankfully there are folk like DJ BBQ who can help you be a master chef in your own kitchen.  Check out this entertaining pulled pork recipe that I’m going to try this week:

Continue reading »

The Sun reports today that Masterchef hosts John Torode and Gregg Wallace are taking the internet by storm after a fan turned their soundbites from the show into a catchy techno song…

And it’s brilliant!

Here’s the rest of the report and the clip of the track… The track, which has been called MasterChef Synesthesia, was uploaded by Youtube user “swedemason” yesterday and has already received 1,000 hits in just a few hours.

The video for the track sees Gregg Wallace repeating: “I like the base, base, biscuit base, I like the buttery biscuit base. I like the base, base biscuit base.”

Sidekick John Torode then chips in appearing to rap: “Crunch base, nutty base,” before Gregg is back yelling: “Buttery biscuit base!”

Then Aussie John gets his own riff adding: “It needs more ooomp.”

Last night a source close to Gregg and John said: “They absolutely love the song, it’s so catchy and very funny.

“They’ve both got a great sense of humour and have been laughing themselves silly about it.”

Here’s the track…


Name:  Tom

Region: London

Age:  30

Profession: Account Director for an Advertising Agency

Personal: Engaged, living with fiancée


Who taught you to cook?

My parents gave me a really strong grounding, but since I left home I am self-taught. My style has been shaped by classic British cuisine and the Italian love of produce which I got from reading a few select cookery books.


What has influenced your cooking style?

I moved to Italy at the age of 22 and lived there for three years which greatly inspired my passion for cooking. I have always cooked but I got serious about it in Italy. It was returning to the UK and re-discovering British produce that truly cemented it for me. I am very into modern British cooking with offal and interesting cuts of meat and game.


Why did you enter MasterChef?

I want to cook for a living but I’m not quite sure in what guise yet. That said I’ve lots of ideas including opening a rural restaurant, serving traditional British food with Provençal influences and maybe incorporating a deli counter offering exceptional British produce. MasterChef is a great platform to learn and make this happen.


Name:  Tim

Region: London (originally from Wisconsin, USA)

Age:   26

Profession:  Food Buyer

Personal:  Married


When did you start cooking?

I’ve been cooking since about 13 and remember making tall, intricate sandwiches as a teenager. When I was growing up food was not that important to any of us, we ate what was quick and cheap to prepare. That all started to change when my brother and I grew up and my Mum stopped working full-time. Now my whole family loves to cook and each one of us has improved in recent years.


What are your cooking influences?

I first became interested in Japanese food when I was about 15, but I didn’t cook much until I was about 20. My passion really took off when I lived in Japan, from when I was 22 to 24, and since then cooking has been one of my greatest obsessions. I really enjoy regional Japanese cuisine, American local specialties, cooking and pairing with beer, artisanal cheese, unexpected flavor combinations, and culinary de-constructivism.


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I found that food and cooking were all I could think about. I am a fan of the show, and every time I watched it I kept thinking, I should apply to this. So I did.


Name:  Serena

Region: Hereford

Age:  44

Profession: Sheep Farmer

Personal: Lives with husband and daughter (4)


When did you start cooking?

I spent my childhood on the family farm which I now run. I have always enjoyed cooking from an early age when I used to help my Mum who is a great cook. My Mum was Cordon Bleu trained. She didn’t ever use her training in a professional capacity but she did feed us amazingly well! I vividly remember folding long grain rice into whipped cream that we served with perfectly poached pears.


What inspires your cooking?

It is cooking with local, seasonal, fresh ingredients that I enjoy most. Clearly, our own lamb features often on the menu!  I do also like to experiment with ingredients from further afield. I particularly love cooking rustic, old fashioned French cuisine.


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I am lucky to have realised one ambition already in life: to have represented England rowing. Now I have an exciting new ambition. I want to pursue my cooking passion by hopefully opening a school and opening the cooking door for many people to enjoy the kitchen as much as I do! I would love it to be a place where people come to have fun, laugh and learn!


Name:  Sara

Region: York (originally from Italy)

Age:  40

Profession: Critical Care Sister in Intensive Care Unit

Personal: Lives with husband and daughter


When did you start cooking?

I grew up in a typical Italian family where an obsession with food was natural. My Grandfather owned a restaurant in Padova (the town where I was born) and cooked all his life, as did my Father. As a child I was taught techniques along with all of the family recipes and I still manage to visit home regularly to update my cooking skills.


What inspires your cooking?

I see food everywhere! My main areas of passion are pasta, game, fresh local produce from Yorkshire and fish dishes. I even have my fishmonger’s mobile number and call him first thing in the morning to see what’s come in!


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

After 20 years in Nursing, I believe I have a talent when it comes to cooking that I need to prove. I see myself in the kitchen where the shouting and the stress is, opening a supper club, a five star catering business and running cookery classes.


Name:  Polly

Region: High Wycombe

Age:   34

Profession:  Housewife and full time mum

Personal: Married with son (4) and daughter (2)


Who taught you to cook?

Cooking definitely runs in my family. We love nothing better than all being together around a big table and sharing good food. My Mother and Grandmother gave me a great basis for my cookery and really taught me the essential skills. Both my brothers are good cooks and when we are all together we always end up discussing food and the best way to cook something.


What are your cooking influences?

I like to cook everything but I really love baking and pastry. Nothing beats a freshly baked cake that is still warm. I even baked my wedding cake and it seems to be something that I’ve passed down, my children love baking.


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

My ambition is it to have a successful Private Dining business. I am really hoping that MasterChef will be a great spring board to get it started.


Name:  Peter

Region: Birmingham

Age:   38

Profession: Former Pharmacy Lecturer Aston University

Personal: Peter lives with his partner Bryan 


Does cooking run in your family?

Although there are no chefs in my family, one of my earliest memories was my Grandmother (with whom I lived for a few years as a young child) making “May’s Mess” – a family favourite pudding, the closely-guarded recipe for which has probably followed her to her grave.


When did you start cooking?

I have been cooking for family and friends for about 15 years, having developed my skills when a student at university – being a vegetarian at the time, I was getting bored of lentil bakes at Christmas! My ability has progressed somewhat since those early days, and now I grow my own vegetables and keep hens for eggs and a few chickens for the table, which I slaughter, pluck and gut myself – needless to say, I am no longer vegetarian!


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I wanted to challenge my cooking skills in unfamiliar environments.  In particular, I wanted to find out whether my dreams of cooking in my own gastro pub might eventually become a reality, or whether I simply didn’t have what it takes to succeed.  I also wanted to see whether it’s true that cooking doesn’t get tougher than this!


Name:  Paul

Region:   Liverpool

Age: 27

Profession:  Health Care Assistant

Personal:  Living in a share house


Does cooking run in your family?

I’ve been cooking for about 16 years but it really doesn’t run in the family. My Mum hates it, my Dad can’t do it but my brother and sisters are all keen cooks. My Dad likes anything with gravy and sauce and my Mum’s favourite dish is homemade chips with dripping and a fried egg. They took a while to come round to my ‘modern’ food.


What influences your cooking?

I worked as a waiter for a few years during college and used to watch all of the amazing food being prepared and I longed to be on the other side of the pass. I was constantly asking the chefs how they did things. Now I work odd hours and spend the remainder of the week cooking. I prepare all of my meals for work from scratch; my colleagues are constantly envious as they usually only have ready meals.


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I just cook all the time; it feels like I don’t stop cooking, and I’d love to own an English patisserie on day.


Name:  Ondine

Region:   Northampton

Age:  38

Profession:  Contact Centre Team Leader

Personal:  Married with son (17), daughter (4)


When did you start cooking?

I really only started to cook in my early twenties when my son was young, I realised food was more than just a cook-in sauce or bacon and eggs! Although, it is in the past seven years I have completely thrown my heart and soul into it.


What are your cooking influences?

I’m an eclectic cook. Food can be thrilling and an adventure on the palate; I may not be able to travel the whole world but there is nothing stopping me cooking and tasting it.


Why did you decide to enter the competition?

I have always watched MasterChef and I felt it was my time to show what I can really do as well as gain great knowledge from working with the best chefs and the top kitchens. I want to move into a food based career and MasterChef will definitely help me achieve that dream.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1