What was the best thing about going on MasterChef?
The people you meet. Never did I think I would be able to cook alongside such amazing chefs as Paul Ainsworth, but the other contestants were just brilliant too. We would have never socialised in normal life, and came from completely different backgrounds but with a common love of food, we became such good friends. I have no doubt that we will remain friends for life and I can’t wait to see what they go on to do.
And the worst?
There are honestly no negatives about taking part in MasterChef. However it really does take over your life and it is very tricky to hold down a full-time job at the same time as the competition. It’s completely exhausting and involves a lot of late nights and early starts, but it’s worth it.
What was the biggest thing you learned from MasterChef?
That I’m actually quite a good cook. As silly as that sounds, I honestly didn’t know quite how good I was until I got through round after round and it gave me such a confidence boost. I’ve always loved cooking for my friends and family, but they will never give me any proper criticism so to have real food critics love my food was mind-blowing.
What’s the idea behind Three Girls Cook?
It came about simply through our joint love of food. Alison O’Reilly, Giovanna Ryan and I get on so well and grew very close through the competition, but we never actually got a chance to cook together. Once filming had ended, we thought it would be lovely to hold a supper club together and it’s just snowballed from there. Never did we believe that we would sell out three nights’ worth of tickets in less than 24 hours.
What makes up your ultimate brunch?
Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know just how much I love pancakes so they would definitely need to feature – pancakes, smoked bacon and maple syrup would probably be my favourite.
Any tips for nailing food pics on Instagram?
My biggest tip would be lighting – natural light makes so much difference to food photographs. I take most of mine outside in my back garden, but anywhere with good natural light should work. Also, think about the amount of food you put on the plate and the choice of plate. You don’t want the plate to look too crowded and the colours have to complement each other.
What’s your favourite view in the North East?
Looking over the River Tweed as the train crosses the Royal Border Railway Bridge pulling into Berwick from the south. It’s truly beautiful and as a student, I would get so excited to see my family after the long train journey from Nottingham.
Where’s your favourite place to eat in the North East?
The Treehouse at Alnwick Gardens. It’s so beautiful and the food is stunning. They make the most of the produce of the North East and serve proper fine dining dishes.
Where’s the first place you go when you come back up north?
A little café in Berwick called Fantoosh with my mum. It serves the best cakes and is perfect for people-watching. This is usually followed by a bracing walk around the Elizabethan walls to burn off a bit of that sugar.