Sunday 4 December 2016

A master in your kitchen

Georgina Campbell

Published 03/04/2010 | 05:00

Warm Mediterranean salad with braised fennel and pancetta croutons
by Matt James - garden designer and 2007 celebrity quarter-finalist
Warm Mediterranean salad with braised fennel and pancetta croutons by Matt James - garden designer and 2007 celebrity quarter-finalist

Over the past five years, MasterChef competitors have taken ingredients and made them sing and dance in the mouth of the judges.

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The latest MasterChef Cookbook is a collection of recipes, assembled over the past few years from amateurs, professionals and celebrities such as British rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing star Matt Dawson.

"To eat is to live and to eat well is to live better." That's the mantra of MasterChef judge John Torode. He believes that in order to be a great cook, "you need to find your cooking heart and you need to practice, practice, practice".

John regards food as a variable that needs to be understood: "One day it's your friend and the next day it can annoy you, but that is good. Emotion and food go hand in hand."

Fellow judge Gregg Wallace is equally passionate about food. He fell in love with the culinary world at 24 and set off on a mission of gastronomic exploration. Gregg believes that anyone with talent in the kitchen can learn to cook like a professional. "Great things can be achieved by people cooking in their kitchens, if they dare to dream."

Our recipe for rack of lamb recipe is perfect for this time of the year and was devised by sous chef Simon Walker, who made it to the Professional quarter-finals last year. The sticky toffee pudding comes from former Coronation Street actress Wendi Peters, a celebrity finalist in 2009, while garden designer Matt James, a celebrity quarter-finalist in 2007, devised the warm mediterranean salad.

Finally, our cod dish comes from Sarah Whittle, a detective sergeant who was a semi- finalist in 2008.

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Irish Independent

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