A north-east amateur chef has cooked his way into MasterChef’s knock-out week.
Euan Walker, 29, a staff member from Robert Gordon University, appeared on last night’s quarter final of the BBC cooking competition after wowing the judges in Wednesday’s heat.
Along with five other competitors the 29-year-old, from Edzell, was challenged by legendary food critic Jay Raynor to create a dish that incorporates stuffing in 90 minutes.
Describing the brief the critic said: “A good stuffing has to have strong flavours which don’t overwhelm and it has to hold together.
“I don’t want it just being a bunch of rubble that falls out the back of a chicken.”
Jay added: “I’d like them to have used their imagination and taken the brief and run with it.
“Don’t try and do something really complicated just because you think i’m going to be bored of the everyday.
“I love the everyday, I live for that.”
Introducing Euan in the episode, John described him as a chef who “loves process” after he smoked his own salmon, made his own pasta and made a beurre blanc, however he commented on the little bit of seasoning that has been lacking from his dishes.
In a bid to win a place in knock-out week, Euan opted to create a stuffed pork tenderloin with chorizo, black pudding and pistachio meal, all wrapped in Serrano ham and served with a black pudding sauce, chorizo oil, apple sauce and some crispy crackling.
He said: “Stress brings out my creativity. It’s always done that.
“So, I think that I need to stay stress and just get things done as frantically as possible.”
When asked by Gregg about his dish, the development co-ordinator at RGU said: “I love pork. It’s such and underrated meat.
“But, if you treat it right, like, you can get smoky paprika-ness from it, you can get an amazing flavour from it.”
However, John was worried that while the dish was celebrating pork, it could miss the brief by just giving “a nod” to stuffing.
During judging the food critic Jay commented on his dish, said “Boy, is there a lot of flavour on that plate.
“Your pork crackling is brilliant. Not always easy to do this, but you’ve done it.
“Your Serrano ham is properly crisp.
“Here is my issue, which is pork tenderloin, being fatless, this is very, very dry.
Gregg praised the combination of chorizo and black pudding, adding: “I really like that stuff, I think that’s very, very clever.”
And John was impressed with the seasoning in his parsnip puree, saying: “You have actually got the pepper pot to your parnsip puree.”
Commenting after serving his dishes to the three judges, Euan added: “There’s no escaping the fact the pork was dry, but I seasoned by food and John was happy, so I can take that and go from there.”
The final decision on which three chefs progressed to MasterChef’s knock-out week was made by John and Gregg.
And along with Charlotte and Shaheen, Euan was selected to progress to the next stage of the competition.