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Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Monday, 10 September 2007


This weekend saw another produce show, but this time I was judging. I arrived to be greeted by this enormous table covered in food and began to understand the enormity of the task of judging 17 food categories - jams, jellies, cakes, scones, quiches, cheese straws to name but a few. Two and a half hours later, I had tasted 79 dishes and was feeling rather queasy! It was definitely a mistake leaving the ten different chocolate brownies until last as they just about finished me off. It was however a wonderful experience, with some really delicious food, and it left me with a better understanding of what John and Gregg go through on Masterchef tasting so many dishes day after day and a realisation that taste is very subjective. I was told afterwards that I had awarded the first prize for raspberry jam to a 10 year old girl so hopefully a budding Masterchef in the making! On the rumblings of a complaint that I had awarded first prize to a chocolate brownie with a fudge topping when apparently Nigella Lawson says they have to have a hard crust, I decided it was time to make a swift exit!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

As one of the contestants (and a prize winner!) at the show you judged, I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU for your help. These shows rely on being able to get judges to help; without people like you we'd cease to operate.
So, who's Nigella to say that a Brownie can't have a topping? I could find a dozen cooks who say it can.

Magic Cochin said...

Brave you! That must have been quite a task.

Celia

Hannah said...

Celia - I love your new lino prints - especially the hare! Just beautiful as always.

And Anonymous poster - I am glad you won a prize and thank you for your kind words. As for the brownies - it is all about personal taste I guess which is what makes it difficult - I guess I am just a gooey topping kind of girl!

Joanna said...

What a wonderful lot of produce ... as you say, taste is subjective, but that's rather the point of the competition, I'd have thought. Sad that you had to make a swift exit - the umpire's decision should always be final. I liked the thoughtful things you said about the Masterchef judges as a result of your experience.

Joanna

Rita said...

Oh, I can just imagine how you must have felt at the end! I agree with anonymous! Well done Hannah!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Nigella Lawson is just one person - I'm glad you you went with your own palate, and I love that a 10 year old won the jam! The tasting sounds like a serious feat of endurance and strength, but the table looks magnificent!

Maryann said...

Are you trying to say we should feel bad for you, tasting all those glorious dishes? ;) hehe

Marie said...

What a wonderful experience. I think brownies can have whatever you want on top. There is no "right" way to top a brownie. It's the brownie that counts, not the topping. Fudgie, squooshy and moist. Yumm...and I bet there are people who would say that is wrong too!