A customer service manager from Wolverhampton will be hoping to impress the judges Greg Wallace and John Torode when he appears on MasterChef this week. Johnny, a 40 year old father of one who lives in Tettenhall, will be showing off his personal food journey from Indian to French cooking when he goes into competition on MasterChef 2022.
As one of the new group of competitors entering the fray this week for the first time, he also hopes his cooking on TV will impress his son. If he succeeds and gets through the week, he could find himself in the semi-finals.
Johnny said the inspiration for going on to TV has been to try to show his son that he wasn’t afraid to take the big chance when it came. He said: “I want to make my son proud. My focus is being the best dad I can and I’d love to show him that I gave it a go.” He added: “I was born in Birmingham but spent most of my childhood living in Walsall. I now live in a little village called Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. We’ve been here for two-and-a-half years and love it.”
As for his ability in the kitchen, Johnny hopes his ability to cross boundaries will stand him in good stead. “While I do get inspiration from my Indian heritage, I love cooking quite classical French dishes most of the time,” he said.
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If he wins the whole series he will be following in the footsteps of Moseley’s Dan Lee (see below video) who won MasterChef: The Professionals in December, having been inspired by his aunty in Wolverhampton who used to challenge him as boy to eat “intestines and fish eyeballs”.
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Tonight’s episode (April 5) at 8pm on BBC One is the first of three this week as the competition enters its third week. The latest nine cooks will begin with a Signature Dish, to show who they are and how good they could become. Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace will simply eat the food that’s put in front of them without having seen any of the cooking before giving three of the entrants a pass through to the next round.
The remaining six contestants will then cook a sweet dish or a savoury dish depending on their food from the first part, with John and Gregg then watching their every move in the kitchen. For two of the chefs tonight, their dream will be over before it’s properly begun.
In the second hour-long episode this week screening at 8pm on Wednesday April, 6, the remaining seven contenders from this week will face a Market Challenge in which they are tasked with inventing a dish on the spot before one of them is rejected. The remaining six will then follow a brief set by food critic Jimi Famurewa before only four four can go through to a 30-minute quarter-final on Friday at 8pm, after which the two top chefs will be chosen for a future semi-final.
This year’s MasterChef series is the 18th year of the show and Johnny is one of 45 contenders to have made it through the selection process. The Final Three at the end of the seven-week run will get the dream chance to tackle a Chef’s Table challenge at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, which celebrates 21 years of holding three Michelin stars.
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