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Masterchef: The Professionals winners from Gary Maclean to Jamie Scott and what the past champions are doing now

WINNING MasterChef: The Professionals can open up all kinds of doors in the culinary world. Here we look back at the 10 former victors – and find out what happened to their careers after they…

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WINNING MasterChef: The Professionals can open up all kinds of doors in the culinary world.

Here we look back at the 10 former victors – and find out what happened to their careers after they won the coveted title…

 Derek Johnstone was the first ever winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, in 2008 Derek Johnstone was the first ever winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, in 2008

2008 – Derek Johnstone

Scot Derek Johnstone was the first ever winner of MasterChef: The Professionals.

He was so admired by then-judge Michel Roux Jr that he offered the chef a job at his two Michelin starred restaurant La Gavroche.

Derek went on to become Sous Chef at Brasserie Roux, in London’s five-star Sofitel Hotel, and then Head Chef at Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux.

In 2014, he left Roux’s empire to return to Scotland and work at The Golf Inn, Gullane.

He’s now the head chef at the historic Borthwick Castle, in Gorebridge.

2009 – Steve Groves

 Steve Groves took home the crown in 2009PA:Press Association Steve Groves took home the crown in 2009

Michel Roux took on another MasterChef alumni in 2010, a year after Essex lad Steve Groves won the show.

Steve was made the Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square three years after joining the culinary team, in 2013.

He has two kids, Lottie and Charlie, with his wife Alicia.

2010 – Claire Lara

 Claire Lara was the first female winner, in 2010BBC Claire Lara was the first female winner, in 2010

Claire Lara, from the Wirral, was pregnant when she took part in MasterChef: The Professional and didn’t even realise.

She went on to take the crown, making her the first woman to win MasterChef.

She now works at The Oyster Catcher, in Angelsey, and is proud mum to two little boys.

2011 – Ash Mair

 Ash Mair won MasterChef in 2011BBC Ash Mair won MasterChef in 2011

After winning MasterChef, Tasmanian Ash Mair went on to write a cookbook called My Basque Cuisine.

He worked in a number of different restaurants, before becoming a product developer for brands like Waitrose, Aldi and Morrisons.

2012 – Aston Piotrowski and Keri Moss

 Aston Piotrowski and Keri Moss were joint winners in 2012BBC Aston Piotrowski and Keri Moss were joint winners in 2012

The year 2012 saw the first ever joint winner of MasterChef.

One of these victors, Aston Piotrowski, snared the Head Chef job at The Treby Arms, in Plymouth, and went on to win a Michelin star.

He’s now opening his own restaurant, called Roski, in Liverpool. It’s due to open later this month (November 2017).

South Londoner Keri Moss shared the crown, and became Executive Chef at The Patch Pub, East Dulwich, in 2013.

She went on to open her own cafe, called Keri’s Kitchen, in 2016.

2013 – Steven Edwards

 Steven Edwards won MasterChef in 2013 Steven Edwards won MasterChef in 2013

When he won MasterChef, Steven Edwards was working at the Camilla Restaurant in Sussex’s five-star South Lodge hotel.

In 2015, he left to set up his own company, called Etch, offering home dining and pop-ups.

Steven opened his first restaurant, under the same name, earlier this year (2017).

2014 – Jamie Scott

 Scot Jamie Scott took home the crown in 2014Andy Barr – The Sun Glasgow Scot Jamie Scott took home the crown in 2014

Jamie Scott, from Kirkiston, Scotland, opened his first restaurant with wife Kelly in 2016.

The Newport is in Fife, on the banks of the River Tay, and has been pretty much fully booked since day one.

Just seven weeks after opening, it was awarded two AA Rosettes.

Before opening his restuaurant, Jamie was running pop-up events, appearing at food festivals, and being a guest chef all around Scotland.

2015 – Mark Stinchcombe

 Mark Stinchcombe was the 2015 winnerBBC Mark Stinchcombe was the 2015 winner

Mark Stinchcombe is the co-Head Chef at Eckington Manor, in the Cotwolds.

He worked at the country house before joining MasterChef, and has no plans of leaving.

His wife, Sue Stinchcombe, is the other Head Chef leading the Farm to Fork food philosophy.

Eckington Manor has won several awards in recent years, including the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Visit England 2016 Award for Excellence, and Good Hotel Guide 2018.

2016 – Gary Maclean

 Gary Maclean won MasterChef last year, in 2016PA:Press Association Gary Maclean won MasterChef last year, in 2016

Food

Happy Hanukkah 2017! Why is the Jewish festival known as Chanukah and why do we light candles?

HANUKKAH or Chanukah is a Jewish festival which is celebrated by lighting one candle a day for eight days. It’s already underway, but how did it first begin? Here’s everything you need …

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HANUKKAH or Chanukah is a Jewish festival which is celebrated by lighting one candle a day for eight days.

It’s already underway, but how did it first begin? Here’s everything you need to know…

 A Jewish family sits round the table to celebrate HanukkahGetty Images A Jewish family sits round the table to celebrate Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrated in either November or December.

This year the Festival of Lights began on the evening of Tuesday December 12 and ends of the evening of Wednesday December 20.

The holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev – the ninth month of the year on the Hebrew calendar.

Games are often played at Hanukkah, and the most common involves a dreidel (type of spinning top) and is a popular way of helping children to remember the great miracle.

 Jews observe the celebration by lighting one candle a day for eight daysAlamy Jews observe the celebration by lighting one candle a day for eight days

What is the history behind Hanukkah?

The word means ‘rededication’ and honours the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom more than 2,500 years ago.

It dates back to two centuries before the beginning of Christianity.

Legend has it the leaders of a Jewish rebel army called the Maccabees rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors.

King Antiochus had taken control of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and ordered an altar to Zeus to be built.

Judaism and circumcision was banned and pigs were sacrificed.

The Jewish uprising was led by Judah Maccabee and lasted three years until the Maccabees seized Jerusalem.

Judaism’s text the Talmud says only pure olive oil with the seal of the high priest can be used for the Hanukiah.

They wanted to rededicate the temple but could only one container enough for one day.

However, miraculously it stayed alight for eight days – the time needed to get hold of a new supply of kosher oil.

Why do Jews light candles at Hanukkah?

On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, a candle is lit in a menorah (candelabra) called a hanukkiyah.

While one legend says that the one container of oil stayed alight for eight days, another said that the uprising found eight iron spears and put candles in them, and used them for lighting up the temple.

The tradition is celebrated today, and the candles are typically lit left to right and placed in the front windows of houses.

 'Judith Beheading Holofernes' by CaravaggioAlamy ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’ by Caravaggio

Why is it sometimes called Chanukah?

In Hebrew, Hanukkah is pronounced with the letter ‘chet’ so it sounds like Chanukah.

The chet’s ‘ch’ sound is not enunciated like the ‘ch’ in child – and is more of  a guttural sound.

It can be spelt Chanukah or Hanukkah.

What is traditional Hanukkah food?

Jews traditionally eat fried foods to honour the miracle temple oil.

‘Sufganiyot’ are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugar.

They are from a yeast donut pastry mentioned in the Talmud.

 'Sufganiyot' are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugarGetty Images ‘Sufganiyot’ are round deep-fried jam or custard-filled donuts topped with powdered sugar

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Food

How to cook turkey – size guide and how long it takes to defrost and cook your Christmas dinner in the oven

IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast. Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat o…

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IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast.

Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat once a year, it can be tricky to get it right.

 When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per personGetty Images When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per person

What size turkey do I need?

When picking the perfect turkey, you’re considering more than the roast dinner itself.

Part of the fun of Christmas is having enough leftovers for turkey sandwiches in the evening, and maybe a home-made curry or pie the next day.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to panic buy the biggest bird in the store.

This would be unnecessarily expensive and the bigger the bird, the longer it will take to cook.

The general rule of thumb is to allow 1lb, or 500g, per person.

Whole birds are the best value, but crowns are easier to carve – because the legs have already been removed.

 Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the birdGetty Images Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the bird

Is a 12lb bird big enough?

Yes, unless you are cooking for around 12 people.

For a group of six to eight, you’re recommended to buy an 8lb turkey – but some birds grow to much larger than that.

This farm in East Devon produced three 60lb turkeys in 2016. The enormous birds are eight times the average weight of baby born in the UK.

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Food

Get your carb fix thanks to Dean Edwards with a meat feast spaghetti pizza or spinach and ricotta stuffed shells

AS CHRISTMAS draws closer and the cold intensifies, don’t forget to get your carb fix to keep you going. Thanks to Dean Edwards, you need to look no further. Meat Feast Spaghetti Pizza Serves…

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AS CHRISTMAS draws closer and the cold intensifies, don’t forget to get your carb fix to keep you going.

Thanks to Dean Edwards, you need to look no further.

Meat Feast Spaghetti Pizza

Serves 4

Prep time 10 mins

Cooking time 30 mins

Cals 642/ Sat fat 20g

 Indulge in our meat feast spaghetti pizza this winterLara Holmes Indulge in our meat feast spaghetti pizza this winter

For the sauce

  • 1 red onion, very finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tsp sugar

For the base

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 60g Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the toppings

  • 1 x 125g mozzarella ball
  • 150g ready-grated mozzarella
  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4tbsp Nduja sausage or chorizo
  • 4tbsp mascarpone
  • Fresh basil, to serve

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas mark 6. Make the sauce by frying the onion and garlic in a splash of oil for 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and balsamic, then simmer for 5 mins until thickened. Season and add the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain, then place in a bowl with a little oil to stop it sticking. Cool slightly then stir in the Parmesan and eggs. Divide between two greased 8in spring-form cake tins and compress, bringing a little up the sides to form a crust.
  3. Spoon over the tomato sauce and spread evenly, then cover with the mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes and Nduja. Bake for 20 mins.
  4. Rest for a couple of mins then remove the pizzas from the tins, dot on the mascarpone and sprinkle over the basil.
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