Blood, sweat and burns as Emma wins MasterChef

Anthony Barnes

Writer and actress Emma Kennedy was simmering with excitement after being named the winner of Celebrity MasterChef.

The 45-year-old beat fellow finalists TV host Michael Underwood and former footballer Danny Mills after a six-week competition in which she showed her culinary prowess.

Over the course of the series judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace have had contestants catering for the cast and crew of BBC1's New Tricks, cooking a three-course meal at historic Bletchley Park and a Michelin-standard meal for four of the best chefs in Britain.

After winning, she said: "This is the first trophy I've ever won and what a trophy to win; there's been blood, sweat and burns that have gone into this. It ranks up there in one of the all-time life achievements -- wow, wow, wow.

"My mother is going to scream for about three months without stopping."

Her winning menu was:

•Pea, mint and ricotta ravioli with pancetta butter and pea shoots;

•Pan-fried turbot topped with samphire with vegetable filled leek cannelloni, crushed roast potatoes and a beurre blanc sauce.

•A dessert of Ile Flottante.

Torode said: "Emma has propelled herself to absolute greatness through sheer tenacity -- the skill, the touch, the finesse, the flavours!"

And Wallace added: "Emma is producing dishes now that are as good as many professionals -- she is unbelievable."

Kennedy praised the programme for bringing out her abilities. She said: "One of the greatest acts of love anyone can do is cook for the people they care about."