Pitstone’s Scott Barnard may have ultimately missed out on becoming a MasterChef champion, but he hopes his starring role could be a springboard for his career.
Dad-of-one Scott, who is a chef at The Grove in Hertfordshire applied for MasterChef: The Professionals back in January, passing two phone interviews and a screen test.
And his super skills in the kitchen saw him progress from the early stages of the BBC2 programme all the way to the finale of the cooking contest, which featured just three surviving chefs.
In the Christmas Eve showdown viewers heard he was “aiming for excellence and hoping to go out with some fireworks”. He served judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace with brined mackerel, a chicken dish, followed by a lemon parfait dessert.
Monica described the mackerel as “clever”, while the judges believed his chicken dish needed more truffle, with Marcus also declaring “I was hoping for a refined, fine dining plate of food”. Gregg’s verdict on the dessert was “magnificent”.
Ultimately it wasn’t quite enough to take the title which went to Mark Stinchcombe from Eckington Manor in Worcestershire, with Scott reflecting: “I wanted to win it for my family, but I can hold my head up high.”
Speaking to the LBO aftewards, Scott revealed he’d had to keep tight-lipped about the end result since way back in July when the final had been filmed. It’d been quite a challenge and he admitted:“I’ve got a bit a bit of a big gob!”.
The 33-year-old said he’d been egged on into entering by Steve Barringer, who was a beaten finalist in the programme back in 2011.
Scott worked with Steve at Flitwick Manor ten years ago and both are former students of Barnfield College in Luton.
Scott added: “When I first entered I thought if I got to the semi final I’d be happy with that. At the start I thought it was going to be really tough as there were some really good chefs, but I got more confident as it went on.
“I got to the final and thought I might have a good chance, and with the menu I had I could nick it.”
He admitted if he’d had his chance again he would have refined his main course.
Scott, who has lived in Pitstone for approaching eight years and previously called Leighton Buzzard home, hopes his success on the show will help his career.
“It’s given me more confidence and belief in what I do.
“Hopefully it will create an opportunity where I can create my own dishes to the paying customer, rather than being a number two where you’re cooking someone else’s food.”