Cooking ace Nicky thrilled at Masterchef experience
COOKING doesn't get any tougher than this – just ask Cheltenham culinary maestro Nicky Souter.
The 47-year-old, who teaches pupils at Dean Close School how to produce high-end food, said she was thrilled to appear on BBC2 show Masterchef: The Professionals despite getting knocked out this week.
She said cooking under the eagle eye of renowned chef Michel Roux Junior was a particular highlight.
"I enjoyed the whole experience and cooking for Michel was a huge honour," she said.
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"He's a chef right at the top of his game and such a gentleman with it.
"He went to great efforts to be as fair as possible and I took all his comments on board.
"The whole thing was very hard work and there's enormous pressure, but nevertheless it was a fantastic experience.
"Of course I was disappointed not to go through to the semi-final, but overall I was pleased with how I got on."
Nicky impressed judges with her skills, producing mouth-watering dishes including a peach and lemon tart, sweet cream filled fritters, and a rack of lamb with red wine jus.
She also excelled in the notorious skills challenge, which often makes seasoned chefs wobble at the knees, shelling and plating up a lobster in front of Gregg Wallace and eye-popping Roux assistant Monica Galetti.
"I wasn't intimidated by Monica at all," she added.
"She has my total respect. Again, she is right at the top of her business and everything she said was very fair."
Despite a string of consistent performances, Nicky was narrowly pipped to a semi-final place with the judges citing a lack of restaurant presentation as a sticking point.
But she is not letting the disappointment get to her.
"I have been cooking for 12 years and I am quite confident in what I do," she added.
"The guys in my group were restaurant chefs used to producing food in a restaurant context, so the result was probably fair enough.
"But I love cooking and making something out of ingredients put in front of me.
"That won't change."
She said pupils at the Lansdown Road school enjoyed watching her appearance on the programme.
It came in the same week as Dean Close Prep School pupil Ben Logan appeared on Junior MasterChef.
MasterChef: The Professionals continues tonight at 8pm.