Ketton man Simon impresses Michelin star chef Nathan Outlaw as he sails through on MasterChef

Simon Spooner has made the quarter finals of MasterChef. By Lee Hellwing.
Simon Spooner has made the quarter finals of MasterChef. By Lee Hellwing.
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Ketton man Simon Spooner made it through to the next round of MasterChef after impressing Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw in tonight’s (Thursday, March 29) episode.

He sailed through to the next round - as one of just nine chefs. He said: “It’s an amazing feel to be top nine. I’m just excited to get back in the kitchen again.”

In tonight’s episode, Simon was tasked with showcasing one of Nathan’s favourite ingredients and he chose rabbit, serving a dish of rabbit loin and leg stuffed with offal, capers, olives and anchovies served on a black olive puree with heritage carrots, chicory and a rabbit jus.

Nathan Outlaw, who holds two Michelin stars, was impressed, saying: “It’s nice to see you’ve used the leg, the offal and the loin and the sauce you made that with the bones as well? Brilliant,” Nathan Outlaw said.

“The most important thing for me was the rabbit, the loin, the leg and the sauce and I love all of it.”

Meanwhile, judge John Torode praised the work that went into the dish while Gregg Wallace added: “I’m really impressed with you. I think you’ve got some great flavours and I think you’ve shown some real technical ability and ambition.”

Afterwards, Simon, a stay-at-home dad was pleased with the feedback, telling television cameras: “Predominantly good feedback. There’s some things to work on but the bits that were most important to me they really liked.”

Earlier in the show, Simon cooked for the first time in a professional kitchen at Sartoria in Mayfair.

Simon was tasked with cooking the main course during a busy lunchtime service of a south Italian version of rabbit stew using all parts of the rabbit, including bones. Simon is tasked with de-boning the rabbit before service starts. It was this dish that inspired his own that he went on to cook for Nathan Outlaw.

Simon told cameras that his Sartoria dish was: “A lot of complicated butchery work but that’s great. I’m here to learn, I want to do something interesting. If it was easy what would be the point?”

Afterwards he said he was delighted with the experience.

“I always wanted to do it and I’m really chuffed I have. it was exhausting, painful at times, stressful but I’d go again now.”

He later told Gregg that the professional kitchen experience was: “One of the best days of my life. I had an amazing time.

“This competition is absolutely massive for me and it’s showing me the direction I want to go in.”

Simon answered a decisive “Yes” when judge Gregg asked if he wanted to be a chef.

The next episode is on tomorrow (Friday, March 30) on BBC One when the final nine will cook one plate of food in a bid to make it through to the semi-finals.