It’s been a year since MasterChef contestant Chris Hale graced our screens with his outlandish creations and fine food, and the plates have been heated once again for a new series of the BBC cooking show.
Chris describes what life has been like since making it to the quarter-finals of the popular contest.
“I really enjoyed the challenge of being on the show. I love cooking and creating recipes, so having a platform to showcase these on was phenomenal.”
Chris’s creations were well received, with his Indian Sushi going viral online, as well as his chocolate soil dessert proving popular amongst foodies nationwide.
The father-of-two said: “It was a whirlwind being on the show and one of the best experiences of my life. It’s always hard being knocked out as you can’t help but want to learn more, keep cooking and win. But the experience was so positive and it inspired me to do more with my cooking.”
Chris, 30, from Sandal in Wakefield, made the most of his TV fame and immersed himself into the catering world, working freelance as a chef across Europe.
Not one to rest on his laurels, the trained sports scientist and altitude trainer, also collaborated with fellow MasterChef contestants.
“A few of us from the show kept in touch, so I arranged for us to take over a few restaurants together, creating our own menu. They also helped to cater for my wedding last summer at Unity Works.”
Business quickly boomed for the Yorkshire-based entrepreneur and he set up his company Pop Up North (http://www.pop-upnorth.com/)
“At Pop Up North we provide pop up restaurants, private dining, buffets and events catering all with a fine dining twist.
“I’ve also been invited to host cookery demos, private workshops and judge cooking contests.
“I’ve gone from being a self-taught home cook to now judging trained professional chefs, it’s pretty amazing really.
“What an incredible year for my family and I, and this coming year is set to be even better and busier.”
Chris is blogging about the latest Masterchef series at http://mamamei.co.uk/ (his wife’s family, food and health blog).
He said: “It’s daunting being a contestant on reality TV, but with hard work and determination it can be a great way to showcase your skills to millions of people. Although, I am glad this year to just relax and enjoy the show from the comfort of my own home, with my family.”
Follow Chris and his reactions on the new show live on twitter @AllHaleChris and on https://www.facebook.com/popupnorth/
Chris Hale’s DIY ‘Dinner at Home’ recipes: Chickpea, Tomato & Spinach Curry
Ingredients (Serves 2):
-2 garlic cloves, chopped 3cm
-1¼ in piece ginger
-3 ripe tomatoes
-1 tsp ground cumin
-2 tsp ground coriander
-1 head of broccoli
-400g can chickpeas, drained
-200g spinach leaves
-1 tin chopped tomatoes
1. Put the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and whizz to a purée.
2. Heat oil in a large pan.
3. Add the cumin and coriander, and fry for a few secs, then add purée.
4. Bubble together for 2 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes and broccoli, cook for 4 mins.
5. Stir in chickpeas and spinach, squeeze over lemon.
6. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
The Messy Cook is a Leeds based Food & Travel Blogger. For food reviews, tasty recipes and travel stories visit: https://messycook79.com/
*Cover photo is courtesy of the BBC