Knives are out as Come Dine With Me comes to Gloucestershire
BELGIAN-BORN Oli Delaunoy knows how to cook up a storm in the kitchen.
So the 47-year-old from Churchdown was keen to showcase his culinary talents when he was selected to appear on Channel 4 programme Come Dine With Me.
He appears on the show each night this week, pitting himself against four other contestants from the Cheltenham area.
The dad-of-one, who is a keen amateur cook, remained tight-lipped on the result – but said he was unfazed inviting cameras into his kitchen.
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"For me cooking is a very natural thing," said the hotel director.
"I grew up in Belgium and so it is part of my heritage.
"I was brought up by my grandmother and she had a great understanding of cooking. She taught me a lot of what I know so I was confident going on to the programme.
"I also spent some time practising the recipes I wanted to try beforehand."
The first episode of the week on Monday showed Oli kick off proceedings by entertaining his guests.
He pulled out all the stops, even hiring a ventriloquist in a bid to impress.
And he went to great pains to serve up a menu of tasty treats, from a starter of scallops to a fillet steak main and an Eton Mess style pudding.
But despite his efforts, fellow contestants gave him only 28 out of 40 – with tactical voting possibly to blame for the total.
It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to claim the £1,000 prize. The winner will be revealed at the end of Friday's episode.
Oli has enjoyed watching this week's episodes with his wife Lindsay and 12-year-old daughter Amber. And he admitted it was strange seeing himself on television.
"We watched it for the first time this week and I was terrified about how it would come across," he added.
"It was the first time I found out about what marks people gave me so it was interesting to see that.
"But I was happy with how my dishes came out."
Oli was put up to appear on the show by his wife Lindsay.
She said: "He is a good cook with a bit of flair.
"He is also a natural entertainer so I thought he'd be good on Come Dine With Me.
"Whatever happens, I know he enjoyed the experience."
Come Dine With Me will continue today at 5.30pm.
Here’s what Oli presented to his guests:
Starter: Seared sea scallops marinated in lemon juice, vinegar and yellow, red and green peppers.
Oli said: “Marinate the scallops in lemon juice, vinegar and peppers for an hour. Take the scallops out, dry them and then pan fry them in a hot pan. Keep the marinade to use as a dressing and serve with sautéed chorizo.”
Main course: Fillet steak with a wild mushroom and spinach ragout and peppercorn sauce.
Oli said: “To make the pepper sauce reduction sautee the shallots in butter, add beef stock and white wine. The soft peppercorns come in at the end along with half a cup of cream and some Dijon mustard.”
Pudding: Belgian Mess – a variation on Eton Mess with meringues, raspberry coulis and crème patissière.
Oli said: “Make the meringues using egg white and sugar, but you can get a marbling effect by twisting in a mixture of lemon and raspberry juice.”