The perennial competition of amateur cooks — Masterchef — finished on Friday 17th April. 60 enthusiastic wannabe chefs started a few months ago culminating in the final four battling it out in the penultimate programme, which were then whittled down to three. I have to admit I chose my final four out of the last remaining 16 and was pleased that my choice of winner succeeded. Having said that it was difficult choice as the three finalists had three completely styles. The one that got away was Claire Fyfe, the posh attractive interior designer, 34, who held her own right up until the semi final. Dave Rickett, 31 a digital security manager, did have excellent art and presentation skills, having studied art at university and his food was very creative. Sandy Tang, 24, originally for Macau and now a technology consultant in Reading,  was fabulous with great creative and fusion skills her dishes were a delight — if only for the viewer — to look at! But my winner was Thomas Frake, 32, an Eastender made good. A banker by profession his down-to-earth food elevated to fine pub dining was a triumph.

Some viewers complained that this years was boring on one hand pretentious on the other. Boring I don’t think. samie perhaps, but it is different to change the successful format without losing its point. The contestants went to Mauritius — not boring, at least not to them!! Perhaps a trip to Albert Adría’s, Biscuits and Bubbles, in London might have been considered pretentious but for anyone — especially in our industry — it was fascinating.

Therefore those that thought it was all too poncy must have been pleased with the winner’s high level of gastro pub food!  Something that Thomas is going to open. Either a traditional Eastend boozer or a quaint country pub is his idea. Go for the latter!!! Should be easy for him to get a loan, but I hope he didn’t start before ‘lockdown’!!

(photos courtesy of the BBC)