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Semi final spot for ‘Masterchef’ Tom

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By Christie Breen
Semi final spot for ‘Masterchef’ Tom

MOFFAT-born Masterchef contestant Tom Johnstone has earned a place in the show’s semi-final.

The 42-year-old has received excellent feedback so far during his time on the popular BBC One show for his twist on classic British meals.

During the initial heat he was tasked to take a basic everyday ingredient and turn it into meal in one hour and 20 minutes. Tom cooked a pan roasted pork fillet with a side of cider-braised cabbage with pancetta, served with homemade apple sauce, buttery mash, roasted shallots and cider cream sauce.

During judging show host Gregg Wallace complimented Tom on the seasoning of the pork and the flavours in his cabbage. However, fellow host, and chef, John Torode commented that Tom’s mashed potato was lumpy and that the food shared a pureed texture with the two sauces and mash on the same plate.

For the second challenge, Tom was tasked to make a salad accompanied by a Caesar salad dressing. He opted for a pan-fried chicken breast and maple-cured bacon Caesar salad with avocado and topped with crispy chicken skin. The judges seemed to enjoy the dish, so much so that he earned himself a place in the quarter final.

And so Tom returned to the Masterchef kitchen last Friday for the quater final. He and the rest of the chefs were challenged by food writer Leyla Kazim to create a dish that could serve as a pick-me-up for friends and family.

Using a recent holiday to the Isle of Mull as inspiration, he prepared a curry battered cod with goose fat chips, chip shop curry sauce with homemade pickled onions and mushy peas.

The judges noted that the fish was slightly overcooked but the batter was perfectly crispy and the curry sauce tasted good.

Following judging, Tom said: “I feel I’ve hit the brief in what my family enjoy in food but when you’re cooking for a food critic, it just needs to be up another level. But overall I was happy in my dish.”

After being told he was going through to knock-out week, Tom added: “I feel weak at the knees. It’s one of the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life.”

Tom will return to the Masterchef kitchen for the knockout stages in the coming weeks.

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