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

Friday, 16 March 2007

Just wanted to post a huge congratulations to Steven, Masterchef 2007! I am fiercely proud of him and his achievements and he was such a worthy winner. Steven is an amazing cook and has a palette unlike anyone I have ever known - he can make even the simplest things like scrambled eggs taste stunning, just by adding a dash of truffle oil and some chives - completely elevating the dish to a level I would never even have thought of. I am so, so pleased for him and am grateful that Masterchef has brought us together - we have often said we are cooking soul mates and I know that we are going to be friends for a long, long time. Yes OK maybe Steven isn't totally aware of how fast the hands go round a clock (!), but I would sit and wait patiently for a plate of food from him any day. Believe me, the wait is worth it. Steven is destined for great things and I hope that one day Charles Campion will have to eat his words!

Also a huge congratulations to Ben - we all achieved so much and pushed ourselves way beyond any normal limits. When condensed into 30 minutes it is often hard to imagine why we were all so stressed. The level of intensity that we were sometimes under was unreal and I felt so proud watching us all at Downing Street, the Savoy and in Paris. Ben's presentation and technical ability is awesome. He will be a great chef and I fully expect to one day be eating in his Michelin starred restaurant. I always looked at his plates of food agog with amazement - they are so far removed from my rustic style of cooking and I can only hope that one day I may elevate my food to such a high standard. Ben was always there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on - the two of us were away from our friends and family for five weeks, living out of a suitcase in a hotel, surrounded by complete strangers and cameras and cooking under immense pressure - COOKING REALLY DOESN'T GET TOUGHER THAN THIS - believe me! I know that Ben will go on to achieve the great things he deserves.

As for me, Masterchef has been the most amazing journey of my life - I was a last minute stand in and came to the heats with 24 hours notice (hence the rather rushed decision to make blueberry duck and saffron mash - thank goodness I won't have to see "that" clip any more!!!) I am so proud of what I achieved - I learnt so much with expert tuition from John and Gregg who would quietly pass on useful tips when they were walking round the kitchen and who saw something in me which to this day I still find hard to see in myself and the amazing Giancarlo Caldesi who was there for me at my lowest point in the competition, who picked me up, dusted me down and taught me about getting amazing flavours from a few ingredients which give a dish the wow factor that I was seeking. I am so lucky to have been taught by some monumental chefs - particularly Helene in Paris who was truly inspirational with her silent kitchen - I have never worked anywhere more calm and relaxed and really loved it and at the Ritz Paris which never made the final programme but where we learned some remarkable dishes. I am so privileged to have cooked at 10 Downing Street and for the Michelin Starred chefs at the Savoy - to this day still can't quite believe the praise I was given and am very proud of myself for what I achieved that day. That said, the highlight of the series for me has to be Gregg putting his face in my blueberry cheesecake (literally) on my first day which sadly didn't get shown but was very very funny!

Big thanks to John and Gregg for the continued support and also to the wonderful crew from Shine who were there with us throughout the whole journey, including during the last few weeks when at times it has been hard to have your every flaw shown on national tv. At least, in the knowledge of how far I came, I can look back at those less than perfect moments (pizza dough, chocolate slop in a pot, fruit tart flip flops (as Gregg so kindly named them), tears) and laugh!

I have lots of things in the pipeline and I know that this isn't the end of my cooking journey but for now, it's Friday...tonight is Steven's victory party and I can't wait to get there and congratulate him in person.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout the competition, for all the lovely comments and emails of support and to those complete strangers who have come up to me in the street and wished me luck. It really has meant the world to me.



Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah!
I just wanted to say I thought you were fab on Masterchef - I really hope you have the confidence and belief in yourself to do whatever it is you want with your cooking career, because you look like you have so much talent. My family and I loved the programme and were over the moon for Steven, but we also thought Greg and John wouldn't have done bad to pick you too - a shame there could only be one! Best wishes, and good luck with the future!
Laura, London (cheekylou82@yahoo.com)

* (asterisk) said...

You did a great job, Hannah, and I loved your interesting flavour combinations. Hey, if it's good enough for Heston's Fat Duck, right...?

Unknown said...

Hannah, thought you were great. Hope you achieve what you want in your "cooking life". Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah!

I have been watching the show here in the Netherlands and have enjoyed it very very much. You should be very proud of what you have achieved.

I really hope you realise all your dreams!

Henk, Leiden, The Netherlands

Lois said...

Hannah, you were fab - it's such a shame only one person could win! I was absoulutely gobsmacked by what you did at the Savoy! Three days of filming were plenty for me and I can't even imagine the intensity if those final weeks
Good luck with your future plans.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job last night - as others have said, it's a shame that there could only be one winner, however everyone's cooking had obviously come on such a long way - I was wholly impressed by the 'amateur' cooking that I saw.

Best wishes for the future

From Old Toddingtonian

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,

Best telly we've seen in ages - we were cheering you on all the way - especially in the Savoy and No. 10 - you did an amazing job!
Last nights episode was great - we wanted you to win though! Good luck with the future,


Anonymous said...


You've inspired me to get back in the kitchen and to cook more interesting dishes - I may even bake a 'mothers day' cake this weekend after looking at your recipes.....could there be a Country Kitchen book in the pipeline? I would certainly buy it! Best of luck with your cooking career.

Best wishes, Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,

I also wanted to say well done on your achievements during MCGL 2007.

Good luck with following your dreams.


Heather said...

Congratulations to you Hannah for all you've accomplished - it was a pleasure to watch your confidence and belief grow by the day, and seeing you hold your own in Paris was amazing! Best of luck to you in the future and here's hoping we see you again!

Lisa Durbin said...

Hannah, you did an excellent job and I applaud anyone brave enough to go on Masterchef. I hope you continue to succeed in the cookery world and that you pop up on our tellies again soon! The very best of luck to you. x

Anonymous said...

Hello Hannah and congratulations on getting into the final, you and the lads were all fantastic and I would have been really hard pushed to choose between you so I did not envy the judges decision.

I would like to know though what did you do to the mushrooms that made John so passionate, could we have the recipe please?

Good luck in whatever path you choose to take, Carole.x

Anonymous said...

Freddie ( and the rest of our family want to say CONGRATULATIONS on all that you achieved on Masterchef)
And even more importantly we have made your savoy cabbage and sausage recipe and it was a success. Fantastic success in fact. Read our latest blogpost and see the smile on Freddie's face.
Thank you!

Patricia (La Chatte Gitane) said...

Hi Hannah !
Even though Steven wears the title, you can all call yourselves winners. You should be very proud of your achievements and your talent. I wish you the best of luck for the future.
Patricia xxx...x

Pamela said...

Hannah, it was great watching you on Masterchef! I was rooting for you all the way and was so impressed with the strides that you made on the show. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors, you derserve it!
Believe in yourself.
Pamela, Leamington Spa via Los Angeles (pskessler@hotmail.com)

Gretel said...

Hannah, you were brilliant, we have loved watching your progress and you thoroughly deserved to get in the final. Good luck with the future, I am glad you have a blog so that I can keep up with your cooking. :)

Anonymous said...

Hannah - So proud to be your Mum XXXXX

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah

Just wanted to say how brilliant I think you and your fellow contestants were in the semi and final weeks. It was amazing, inspiring television which became about a lot more than cooking. I loved every minute I spent watching you all and wish you every success in your future careers. Hope you had a ball at Steven's victory party!!


Bonnie said...

Hi Hannah!

I really really enjoyed the show and watched your progress from the start! There were some really tense moments there and it was such a close close competition! Anyone could've one it in the last week!

Well done and I really look forward to reading your blog with much interest!

Anonymous said...

Dear Hannah, well done!
You have come such a long way. When Gregg & John announced who had won I was at the edge of my seat, I thought both yourself and Steven had done so well and basically I wanted for you both to win.
I think you are such a wonderful cook and the way that you cook is so inspiring as well. It makes me want to rush to the kitchen.

I will definitely be following your blog, great that you have one.
Wishing you all the very best and very good luck with everything that you will be doing next but I am sure you will be a great success!!

Erica from the Netherlands

Julia said...

Hi Hannah, I've just been shown a link to your blog, so have just found you!

Many congratulations on all our achievements on Masterchef and how far you've come - I thought you did absolutely fantastically.

I'm really pleased you've started a food blog, I have one too - welcome to the world of food blogging!

All the best, Julia

Colin said...

Hello Hannah.
My wife and I just wanted to say how much we admired you and your choice of food on Masterchef. The pressure must have been terrible, it was for us watching!!
Your blog site is great with lovely recipes and photos.
We hope you have a great future in the food industry.
Good Luck.
Colin and Sue.

Anonymous said...


well done at reaching the finals.. We were rooting for you all the way, the ups and downs and watching you go from that terrible moment when you had no self confidence to when you were absolutely shining in front of all the chefs at the Savoy.. i sat there and punched the air, we were so happy for you!

What i think is also lovely this year has been the obvious camerarderie between you & Steven (and to a lesser extent, with Ben and David), it was a pleasure to watch, as a contrast to last year's fireworks which had so many up in arms.

i wish you - indeed, all four of you - all the very best, and i look forward to reading more about what you've been up to.