On Monday 17th September, the first Killie Trust Masterchef took place. The fiercely contended cook off took place at the wonderful Cook School Scotland in Kilmarnock and contestants had travelled from as far as Glasgow to take part in this prestigious culinary competition. One contestant, Andy Millar, talks us through it.
“Under the guidance of Joe Queen the executive chef and Michael George our tutor and mentor for the evening, our challenge was to prepare breast of chicken stuffed with haggis with fondant potato and creamed cabbage.
Firstly, Michael took us through how to prepare and cook the potato fondant which included an explanation of the importance of your choice of potato variety. Much to the shock of our wannabe chefs all tatties are not created equally.
Next it was back to our beautifully appointed kitchen stations to try and emulate what Michael had just made look so easy. After much huffing and puffing and some assistance from the ever helpful Joe and Michael we all managed to get our potatoes into the oven.
Now we moved on to the main event; the preparation, stuffing and wrapping of our chicken. Once again Michael patiently showed us all how to cut the chicken breast without damaging ourselves or ruining the meat. He explained to us the importance of starting with good quality ingredients and how to cook chicken properly without over-cooking.
Back to the kitchens to get our chicken stuffed, rolled and wrapped and in the oven and our potatoes out. We were now on the home straight but possibly the greatest challenge of all, making cabbage tasty. We were given a few more tricks of the trade and off we went.
With our cabbage well on the way to being ready to eat we had one last trip to the front of the class so that Michael could show us how to present our dishes in the most appetising way ready for the judges to adjudicate our work. We were judged not only on the presentation of the dish but how we had worked during the course of the evening.
Joe and Rory McKeown (Kilmarnock FC’s left back, who had given up his free time to help judge the event) toured the kitchens to inspect our efforts and then at long last we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labour. Rory joined us, having had his meal cooked by Michael not one of us you’ll be glad to know.
Clearly we must have all been well trained as silence fell upon the dining room as we all tucked into the meals we had prepared. Joe did point out that we may have been the slowest cooks he had ever seen. He also regaled us with behind-the-scenes stories of the real MasterChef.
Joe and Rory added up the scores until finally after much deliberation they were ready to announce that Lesley Thomson was the Killie Trust Masterchef . Well done Lesley and thanks to everyone who took part and to everyone at Cook School Scotland for making us feel so welcome and a wonderful evening. A special thanks must also go to our very dedicated dishwasher.”
We will see you all again on the 13th of November when we go back for a second helping. This time there is no need for an apron as our Italian night is strictly Demo and Dine…and a wine or two to keep you going while the award winning chefs prepare an Italian feast for your delight and delectation. Rory McEwan was our surprise judge at the MasterChef competition…and we hope that he’s bringing along one of his team mates, who is an expert on Italian cuisine.
For details on how to book you can go to our event post on our facebook page or simply have a look at the promo poster for it below!
See you all in November.