July 30 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Monday, May 12, 2014
A MasterChef contestant from Forest Gate has told of his frustration after he narrowly missed out on a place in the final.
Michael Saunders, 30, reached the last five in the competition but his bone marrow and chorizo stuffed squid with a Schezwan pepper and cabbage stew and ricecakes on a bed of kimchee puree proved too fussy for the judges.
John Torode described the dish as “quite exciting but about as ugly as it gets” in Friday’s episode, while Gregg Wallace said it was “some sort of crazy Asian paella”.
“It was frustrating to get as far as you can get without being in the final,” Michael admitted. “Obviously once you get to the final they do some really amazing things but in hindsight I did pretty well because they have about 20,000 people enter and I got down to the last five.”
He says his best memories from the show include working with chef John Campbell, who has held Michelin stars in three restaurants, cooking for Marcus Wareing and meeting his “amazing” fellow contestants.
He is so close to them all that he says it would be “impossible” to pick a winner.
“They are all so good that on their day any of them could win, so it’s hard to pick favourites, especially as they all have different strengths,” Michael, who works at a digital marketing training company, said.
He has been spotted by fans while out and about and says he enjoying his new found fame.
“It’s weird but it’s quite nice because everyone’s so excited about it and they just want to talk about the show,” he said.
Michael now hopes to use his experience on the show to good use in Newham, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.