Eddie Scott was named the MasterChef 2022 winner on BBC One on Thursday night and said it the “best feeling ever”.
Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace applauded Eddie for his impressive skills as they handed over the MasterChef trophy and said he would be one of the “future great” chefs.
The 31-year-old Humber pilot was a “culinary powerhouse”, who had barely put a foot wrong throughout the competition, the judges added.
Eddie, who lives in Beverley with his fiancee, Nami, triumphed after an exhilarating final Masterchef cook-off. Pookie Tredell and Radha Kaushal-Bolland finished as runners-up.
Now, he hopes to cook with famous chefs in India, do more TV work and, ultimately, start his own restaurant “sharing my food memories and nostalgia”, he said.
“My whole life I feel has been building up to this moment,” Eddie said. “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.”
Eddie Scott, whose day job is piloting ships on the River Humber, is the 18th amateur cook to claim the prestigious Masterchef winner’s title. He beat off competition from 44 other contestants, producing outstanding plates of food along the way.
John Torode praised Eddie’s “daring” cooking. He 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.”
Fellow MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace said: “I think we’ve just seen the birth of a future great chef. Eddie . He’s hardly put a foot wrong throughout the competition.”
After being confirmed Masterchef 2022 champion on the BBC show, Eddie told the judges: “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 Scott faced strong competition in the final week from runners-up Pookie Tredell and Radha Kaushal-Bolland, as well as Sarah Rankin, who finished fourth, and Ioan Jones (fifth). On Thursday, the final three faced their toughest challenges yet as they sought to show the judges they were worthy winners of the Masterchef 2022 trophy.
Of his MasterChef experience, Eddie said: “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!”
Now, Eddie said he hoped his Masterchef triumph would lead on to a career in food. “Everything in my life has been building up to doing something in food,” he said.
“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 realize that this can be a reality.”
Eddie spent eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy traveling the world, before becoming a Humber pilot. He was inspired to cook by his family who were passionate about food.
From his mother’s baking to his grandparents’ Punjabi classics, he developed a love of food from an early age. His best memories of him were of “cooking together, traveling and eating together.”
On holidays to France, he was fascinated by how food was engrained in the culture, from the presentation of ingredients to the most delicious of dishes in simple cafes. “I wanted to recreate it and that’s how I really got into cooking,” he said.
I have combined this with his love of Indian cookery to create stunning fusions. “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,” Eddie added.
“I so admire classic French and Indian cookery and like to create my own fusion of the two fascinating foodie cultures.”
Eddie Scott faced a grievous but thrilling final week of Masterchef.
Alongside his fellow contestants he faced challenges at Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in Ireland, where he prepared dinner for some of Ireland’s finest food producers, food historians and relatives of Myrtle Allen, the late, great patron of Irish cuisine.
He also worked alongside Gordon Ramsay, whose three Michelin-starred restaurant hosted the Chef’s Table. Pierre Koffmann, the Michelin legend, awarded his consomme 10 out of 10, adding: “A lot of chefs cannot do it as well as that. Perfect.”
For his final three-course meal, Eddie cooked turbot, topped with caviar, tempura oyster, cucumber compressed in dill oil and a champagne beurre blanc.
Gregg said the starter was of a level “many professional chefs haven’t reached”.
John added: “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.”
His 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, flavored with saffron, Kashmiri chilli powder and cardamom, with a cucumber raita. The judges described it as “extraordinary and addictive”.
For dessert, Eddie served up a twist on St Emilion au Chocolat, a classic French dish. The chocolate mousse was presented with a prune puree centre, prunes soaked in Armagnac, almond frangipane, and an almond and Armagnac creme Chantilly.
Gregg said: “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.”
MasterChef Series 18 is available to catch up on iPlayer.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.