Friday, 2 March 2012


Gregg and John
I absolutely love Masterchef, probably because I'm a huge 'foodie'. But when I tell people this they always seem very confused that someone of my age watches it religiously, but it inspires me. The best part is seeing the contestants put all the ingredients together to make these amazing looking dishes. It's also entertaining seeing the trainee chefs going to michelin star restaurants for their lunch service, they are well and truly thrown in the deep end. (I've also got a real guilty pleasure in the form of Gregg Wallace!)

Tim Anderson with the Masterchef
I'm not going to lie, I've never met anyone famous. The closest I've been is probably Minnie and Mickey at Disneyland! So when I heard that last years winner, Tim Anderson, was coming to Tower Bar at the student union on Monday I was amazed. I followed him throughout the whole series and he was always my firm favourite with his strange concoctions - and the fact that he was American. After finding out about this news I immediately text my fellow foodie, Grace Hutchinson. Who, like everyone else, was confused by my Masterchef fascination, but agreed to come with me anyway.

Tim's Japanese inspired three course spread
Tim's visit to the Uni was to teach the students how to be more experimental with food and to tell them that they don't just have to live off ready meals. Yet for me it was much more than this. It was to learn more from a professional, someone who I look up to in the cookery world. You probably couldn't get much more high profile than Tim (except for Jamie Oliver!)

He showed us how to cook a student favourite, Beans on Toast - or 'toast on beans' as he called it. As he demonstrated he highlighted the fact that it's not a precise dish, but agreed with the 30 strong audience on that's why it's good. Tim used fresh beans, including melt in the mouth butter beans, added to chopped tomatoes and herbs to create his version of baked beans from a tin. He toasted fresh wholemeal bread and chopped it up, added a sprinkle of olive oil and put on top of the beans. The smell that radiated through the bar was divine - although Grace and I were both gutted on finding out we couldn't test the food.

Tim struck me as a level-headed normal guy on Masterchef last year and meeting him in person confirmed this. He joked and interacted with us as if we were a group of friends at a dinner party, giving us cooking tips and sharing his knowledge. One of the biggest points I was able to take from the 'masteclass' was that I needed good equipment. Tim said. "If you're remotely interested in cooking, just buy a good knife." 

During another demonstration he joked about the "huge secret" of kebabs. Receiving huge amounts of laughter by using the phrase. "Kebabs are like sex!" The realisation hit me. After often getting a kebab on the way home from a night out, I never chose to talk about it. It's a taboo subject.

Me, Tim & Grace
After much inspiration from a few of his favourite dishes he held a question and answer session. I couldn't resist but asking him what his favourite dish to cook was. I was very intrigued when he told me the answer...'hickory smoked avocado.' A journalist was definitely right when describing Tim's "counter-intuitive pairings." Basically, weird food.

I've never been so starstruck and I'm definitely a big fan of the Americans 'weird food!'

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