Gloucestershire cook Tom Barlow-Kay wins CBBC Junior Masterchef
MASTERFUL kitchen creations have seen a Stroud boy crowned champion of BBC TV’s Junior MasterChef.
Marling School pupil Tom Barlow-Kay, 12, won the final, screened this afternoon.
CBBC’s search for this year’s Junior MasterChef champion culminated in an exciting final show when Tom was awarded his trophy by judges top chef John Torode and food blogger and TV cook Donal Skehan.
Tom said: “Okay.. that’s cool! I never thought I’d do it, it’s amazing!”
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“It’s been my dream, ever since I was tiny, to win MasterChef, so to win this is just astonishing, definitely the biggest achievement I’ve had in my life.”
Tom battled his way from 32 contestants through to the final four and throughout the final week.
Tom’s winning menu consisted of a starter of pan fried chilli scallops with blackberry reduction served on a bed of salad leaves, a main of roasted rack of lamb rolled in herbs, on mint peas and dauphinoise potatoes, served with baby carrots, and a plum and cinnamon crumble with his vanilla cusdessert.
“Throughout this competition Tom has delivered some of the best food we have tasted,” said John Torode. “His food is clean, it’s crisp, it’s classic, it’s brilliant. The guy is a great cook.”
Tom started cooking properly when he was nine years old. He explains: “I used to watch my parents cook and decided I wanted to give it a go myself.
“The first thing I ever cooked was a fruit flapjack, it always seems to turn out perfectly gooey and crumbly at the same time so it’s something I often like to cook.
He now cooks regularly at home: “What I love best about cooking is the feeling of the heat coming from the pan and seeing people smile when they taste my food.
“My signature dish has to be Bakewell Tart. I’ve cooked it loads of times, especially for people’s birthdays.
But what does Tom like to eat? “My favourite foods are pizza, pasta and stir fries.”
Right from the start of the series, Tom impressed with his passion and ability to cook great classic food from scratch, and says his best moment was cooking in the professional kitchen:
“My favourite bit was definitely cooking at Luke's Dining Room in Berkshire. Seeing the care that was taken with each part of the cooking process and how perfectly everything had to be delivered.
On his MasterChef journey Tom said: “The most useful thing I’ve learnt from MasterChef is how to whip cream without getting aches in your hand.
“It felt really lucky cooking for John and Donal - they were very encouraging, saw promise in me and inspired me to keep pushing myself.
“I think Junior MasterChef has changed me quite a lot, my confidence levels grew and grew throughout the competition. I’m feeling really happy right now, I gave it everything I’ve got, it was a really tough thing to do. I’m feeling really proud of myself.”