Doctor misses out on Masterchef crown

NORFOLK: He may have just missed out on the coveted MasterChef crown last night but doctor Tim Kinnaird still looks set to enjoy the sweet taste of success in the food world.

For weeks viewers have seen 37-year-old Tim Kinnaird, from Shipdham, near Dereham, fight off tough competition from more than 130 other contestants picked from thousands of hopefuls to appear on the BBC1 show that aimed to find the country’s top amateur chef.

It was a culinary battle watched by more than five million viewers, and which saw the Norfolk paediatrician do everything from cooking at the Tower of London to serving up a dessert to Indian royalty to creating one of Alain Ducasse’s iconic dishes for the legendary chef himself.

The eight-week series was actually filmed last autumn but the outcome was a closely guarded secret until the final episode was screened last night when the show’s judges declared 34-year-old sales director Dhruv Baker, from Wandsworth, London, to be the ultimate winner.

Despite just missing out on the MasterChef crown, appearing on the show was a dream come true for true for Dr Kinnaird who left his 15 year career as a children’s doctor behind in February to pursue a career in food.

Dr Kinnaird, who lives with his wife Rachel, a 36-year-old Dereham GP, and their children Abi and Noah, eight and five, said: “The important thing for me about being on the show was everything I learned and experienced. It has changed my life and I have this head full of wonderful memories forever.

“Everything was amazing, even dreamlike at times. I could have had a professional career as a chef straight from leaving school and still never have had the opportunities I have had in MasterChef.

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“I am so excited for Dhruv winning too. He is such a nice bloke and when we got back to the UK from India he really excelled. He absolutely deserved to win. I have tasted his food and it is amazing.”

Dr Kinnaird said one of the key highlights of MasterChef for him was creating a pudding for the Maharajah and his family at his hilltop palace in Jodphur, India.

He created green team cardamom and lemon delice with a cube of chocolate mouse and a stack of papaya and white chocolate, topped with a caramel shard, as well as a vegetarian option of roasted pineapple and a green tea sorbet shot.

“I could not believe I had actually made the pudding,” said Dr Kinnaird, who first started cooking when he was just eight-years-old and made sponge cakes when his nanny would visit on a Sunday.

It is his passion for desserts and cakes that Dr Kinnaird now hopes to develop into a career, and he hopes being a MasterChef finalist will mean people will take him more seriously in his career change.

“I would like to develop a business in cakes and desserts. Plan A is to open up a patisserie in Norwich,” he said.

Among the challenges Dr Kinnaird faced in last night’s final episode was cooking a busy lunch service at the three Michelin star restaurant L’Auberge De L’ill in Alsace, northern France.

Back at MasterChef headquarters his final task was to cook a three course meal for the MasterChef judges. Dr Kinnaird created a starter of open lasagne of roast squash and wild mushrooms, with a sage butter sauce, followed by a main of roasted pheasant, Savoy cabbage parcels of bread sauce, potatoes pommes Anna and two types of jelly - sloe gin and blackberry, and quince.

He then prepared a dessert of Mont Blanc, which consisted of sweetened chestnut puree with almond meringue, marron glace, blackberries and a pear poached in coffee.

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