Huntingdonshire chef tests himself in Masterchef kitchen

George Allan in the MasterChef studio.

George Allan in the MasterChef studio. - Credit: Archant

A young chef from Hemingford Grey faced the pressure of cooking, knowing millions of people would be watching at he competed on the MasterChef The Professionals television show.

Head Chef George Allen, from The Cock, at Hemingford, who was on Masterchef.

Head Chef George Allen, from The Cock, at Hemingford, who was on Masterchef. - Credit: Archant

George Allan appeared on the episode broadcast by the BBC last Wednesday (November 12) and although he did not make it through to the quarter finals, the 23-year-old won praise from top chef Marcus Wareing who said he had “potential”.

George, a sous chef at the award-wining Cock in Hemingford Grey, was faced with the daunting task of preparing two dishes for Mr Wareing, one of the youngest chefs ever to win a Michelin Star, and the show’s presenter Gregg Wallace.

“The show is filmed in a warehouse so the environment is very different from the kitchen and it does get very hot in there,” he said. “The pressure is intense while you are preparing your food, but you have to try to block everything out and concentrate on what you are doing.”

Viewers saw George prepare lamb with beetroot cooked three ways in the first round, but he came under fire from Mr Wareing who told him he should have cooked the type of food served in his restaurant.

However, he excelled in the technical challenge, under the watchful eye of judge Monica Galetti, after he was asked to prepare a belly of pork for roasting.

In the last round, which would have taken him through to the quarter finals, George was asked to cook a dish with pigeon and chose to serve his with puy lentils, pancetta, Swiss chard and redcurrant sauce.

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Mr Wareing was impressed and told the other judges he thought George had potential, but said the dish did “not get over the finish line”.

George remains pragmatic about his experience, but says he was disappointed to leave the show, which is now in its seventh series.

“Of course I am disappointed, I would love to have gone further, but I am happy with the dishes I cooked,” said George. “It’s easy to watch it back now and think maybe I could have done things differently but when you are under that kind of pressure it is easy to make little mistakes, and at that level it makes all the difference.”

The Cock at Hemingford Grey has won Cambridgeshire dining pub of the year eight times and will feature in the Good Pub Guide 2015.