Saturday 7 May 2022
BEVERLEY’S Masterchef champion Eddie Scott has revealed he wants to open his own restaurant after winning this week’s final; one of the closest competitions in the programme’s 18-year history. Eddie, who has celebrated his 31st birthday since the series was completed, was reduced to tears when the result was announced and said: “I always knew one day I wanted to pursue a career in food and now MasterChef has made me realise that this can be a reality. My whole life I feel has been building up to this moment.”
Eddie lives in the town with his fiancée, Nami, and took on fierce competition from 44 other amateur cooks, through seven weeks of culinary challenges and an exhilarating final cook-off, producing outstanding plates of food along the way.
On his win, an emotional Eddie Scott said: “It’s everything. I can’t believe I’m standing here as the MasterChef champion. It’s just been the most stressful and the most enjoyable! I feel like I’ve just discovered who I am as cook. It’s the best feeling ever.”
MasterChef judge, John Torode, said: “Eddie is nothing short of a culinary powerhouse. His love of classic French food blended with the spices of India, has made us really stand up and take notice. He’s daring, he’s adventurous, he doesn’t play it safe.”
And fellow judge, Gregg Wallace, added: “I think we’ve just seen the birth of a future great chef. Eddie impressed from the moment he set foot in this kitchen. He’s hardly put a foot wrong throughout the competition.”
On his MasterChef experience, Eddie says: “I sat watching the show for years telling myself to apply. I wanted to go up in front of John and Gregg to see what I could really do. I think every amateur cook secretly dreams of having the chance to go onto a show like MasterChef – to have that one chance of totally changing your life in what you love doing!”
To John and Gregg, he says: “It’s been life’s greatest pleasure to sit here and cook for you both the food that I love. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Eddie faced off strong competition in the final week from runners up Pookie Tredell and Radha Kaushal-Bolland, as well Sarah Rankin (Final Four) and Ioan Jones (Final Five), who left the show earlier in the week. The Final Three were tested beyond anything they’d experienced, to prove to John and Gregg their skill, tenacity and culinary flair were worthy of success in the intense last challenges.
In a gruelling and thrilling final week, MasterChef viewers saw Eddie travel to Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in the South-West of Ireland, walking in the footsteps of professional chefs from all over the world, who come to learn the ‘farm to table’ philosophy of the late, great patron of Irish cuisine, Myrtle Allen.
Eddie drew on all he learned there to prepare a celebratory dinner for some of Ireland’s finest food producers, food historians and relatives of Myrtle. Eddie also earned the opportunity of a lifetime, to work with one of the world’s greatest chefs, Gordon Ramsay – whose incredible three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay hosted this year’s Chef’s Table. Eddie worked under enormous pressure to master their classic dishes, uphold impeccable standards and impress a dining room of some of the country’s best chefs. Former three-star Michelin legend Pierre Koffmann described his consommé as: “Ten out of 10. A lot of chefs cannot do it as well as that. Perfect.”
The competition culminated in the definitive challenge – cooking the best three-course meal of their lives. Eddie’s winning menu started with turbot, topped with caviar, tempura oyster, cucumber compressed in dill oil and a champagne beurre blanc. On his starter, Gregg said: “You are cooking to a standard here, that many professional chefs haven’t reached.” John reacted with: “Boom. That is stupendous. You’ve taken the finest of ingredients, treated them with real care and got absolute perfection and balance. That’s a great dish that could grace the table of any restaurant, Eddie.”
The main course was a Hyderabadi Dum – a caraway and nigella seed pastry-topped chicken biryani, spiced basmati rice with crispy onions, chicken thigh cooked on the bone, all flavoured with saffron, Kashmiri chilli powder and cardamom, with a cucumber raita. John told Eddie: “I have a problem with this dish. In the fact that I just want to keep shoveling it into my mouth. It’s so extraordinary and addictive!”
To finish his menu, Eddie served his take on the classic French dish, St Emilion au Chocolat – chocolate mousse with a prune purée centre, prunes soaked in Armagnac, almond frangipane, and an almond and Armagnac crème Chantilly. Gregg reacted with: “It’s naughty but it’s absolutely delicious.”
After the tasting, Gregg told Eddie: “When I look at you, I can’t honestly imagine you doing anything else but cooking, you are a born cook. I can’t pay you any better compliment.”
Eddie grew up in a small village in Leicestershire, Newton Harcourt before spending eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy travelling the world and has piloted ships on the Humber for the last five years.
Eddie’s love of cooking stems from a family passionate about food – from his mother’s baking skills, to his father’s experimental dishes and his grandparents’ perfection of Punjabi classics – all inspiring him to learn more in the kitchen. Eddie recalls his childhood, looking through cookbooks, constantly thinking about food and says: “All of our best memories were cooking together, travelling and eating together.”
Remembering what seriously ignited his desire to cook, Eddie says: “Growing up, we’d pack up our little Ford Fiesta and spend summer holidays camping in France. I was astounded by how the French presented ingredients and how delicious dishes in the simplest cafés and restaurants were. The way food was engrained in French culture was a total revelation. I wanted to recreate it and that’s how I really got into cooking.”
On his food style, Eddie says: “I love to cook the Punjabi dishes I grew up eating with my family. But my real passion is the great Mughlai cuisine: the historic royal dishes of Old Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. I so admire classic French and Indian cookery and like to create my own fusion of the two fascinating foodie cultures.”
Looking ahead, Eddie says: “Everything in my life has been building up to doing something in food. It would be amazing to be able to cook in a top restaurant and with the most famous royal Awadhi chefs in Lucknow. It would also be exciting to write about food or even do some more TV. What I’d really love is to own my own restaurant – sharing my food memories and nostalgia. I always knew one day I wanted to pursue a career in food and now MasterChef has made me realise that this can be a reality.”
MasterChef Series 18 is available to watch on iPlayer
LOOKING AHEAD to The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next month, Beverley Town Council plans to bring the whole town together with a programme of events memorable for the whole family. A spokesperson told Beverley FM: “Our entertainment will consist of two stages with music from throughout the decades The Queen has reigned, entertainment for the children and a delight of food and drink from our local area. We even have a large screen so we can keep an eye on how our Queen is spending her monumental day.
“So whether you want to hear the symphonic sounds of our orchestras in Saturday Market, chill out to the acoustic tunes and have your cup of tea in the Coronation Garden or want an upbeat vibe over at Flemingate we’ll make sure the day is fit for a Queen!”
For full details visit www.beverleyjubilee.co.uk