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MasterChef’s Simon is a big hit at pay-as-you-feel cafe

Simon Spooner was a guest chef at Second Helpings. By Lee Hellwing.
Simon Spooner was a guest chef at Second Helpings. By Lee Hellwing.

A MasterChef quarter-finalist cooked up a storm at a pay-as-you-feel cafe in Stamford.

Simon Spooner, of Ketton, who just missed out on the semi-finals of the BBC show last month, was cooking in the Second Helpings kitchen on Saturday, which sources food from suppliers like Waitrose and Tesco, which would otherwise go to waste.

Simon cooked for more than 100 people and devised the menu for the day which included mains such as chicken breast and asparagus plus chilli con carne.

Simon, who led a team of volunteers in the Second Helpings kitchen, said: “It was an amazing experience. It is phenomenal how much food there was that was going to go in the bin.

“I do not think I have cooked for 100 people before - it was hard work.

“I think I will come back here again. It gave me the opportunity to give back to the community.”

Simon’s challenge was made even tougher as he did not know what ingredients he was due to cook with until Saturday morning.

Some of the other items on the menu included pickled fennel, fruit salad and grilled sardines.

George Hetherington, a board member of Second Helpings, praised Simon’s cooking skills.

He said: “He was absolutely wonderful- the best we have ever had - without knocking our own cooks. It was the variety and the quality that made it so good.

“People kept saying how much they liked it.

“He was lovely with all the volunteers. He had time for all the volunteers and explained how he wanted to serve the mains.”

Simon has just set up his own catering business, Knife Fork and Spooner.

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