A Fife man still has the recipe for success after narrowly making it through to the next round of BBC’s hit food show MasterChef.
Brodie Williams, who was raised in Cupar and went to Newpark School in St Andrews, spoke of his relief after qualifying for Friday’s quarter-final of the UK’s biggest amateur culinary competition.
The 27-year-old was part of the final group of eight wannabe cooks hoping to prove themselves in the latest show, with this year’s series already 10 episodes old.
Viewers on Thursday night first saw Brodie face a tricky opening ‘market challenge’, where contestants had 10 minutes to pick from a range of ingredients – including venison, lamb mince, kidneys, scallops and langoustines – and come up with a main meal.
Hosts John Torode and Gregg Wallace initially cast doubt on Brodie’s ambitious take on a Rogan Josh curry with basmati rice and a lemon and pistachio yoghurt, as the Scot used kidneys and lentils instead of lamb.
And it looked like Brodie was headed for an early exit as Torode tore into his dish.
“I really don’t like it at all – the sauce is over reduced and acidic and I don’t like the flavours of the kidneys running through the whole lot,” he said.
However, Wallace loved it, and must have fought Brodie’s corner in deliberations as he narrowly escaped the first elimination.
The second stage gave the contestants liberty to cook their own dishes, with Brodie opting to go for back-to-back curries as he aimed to impress the judges – 2006 finalist Daksha Mistry, 2016 finalist Juanita Hennessey and 2012 champion Shelina Permalloo.
His starter of devilled crab with melba toast largely met with their approval.
However, his butter chicken masala with basmati rice and homemade bhaji failed to wow the trio – and again it was touch-and-go.
“Everything just needs a lift,” Permaloo noted.
Brodie admitted he perhaps could have done better, adding: “The sauce for the curry wasn’t as good as I’ve done the past.”
Despite that though, in a tense conclusion, Torode and Wallace revealed that Brodie had done just enough to progress.
“It seems like a massive cliché but the more you are in the competition the more you want to stay,” he added.
— MasterChef UK ? (@MasterChefUK) April 20, 2017
Brodie, who works as a store designer for lingerie company Agent Provocateur in London, said he was inspired in the kitchen by his mum, with the cuisine he cooked up in his student digs fast becoming a “hit” amongst his friends while studying architecture at Glasgow School of Art nine years ago.
“The ultimate accolade came when a friend of mine said he’d be willing to pay for what he’d eaten – it was so good,” he said.
Brodie’s love of home cooking was taken to the next level when he moved to work in London, and he even decided to write and illustrate a cook book two years ago.
One day, the trained architect said he hopes to design and build his own restaurant.