Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Competition: Turkey Masterclass with Marco Pierre White!!

Hey guys, remember that recipe I entered into Britmum's and Lean on Turkey's competition a few weeks ago? Well, I won it!! My spiced turkey burgers with avocado relish won me £250 and a personal masterclass with Marco Pierre White!
I was terribly excited about this, as not many people know but Marco Pierre White was the youngest British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. So before he was a celebrity chef he most definitely was a "real chef"!, haha! Me and three other food bloggers attended the masterclass in south london on tuesday, and we all had a great time, and got to know Marco off camera which was fascinating.
I asked him a few cheeky chef-y questions, including whether he had worked with many women in professional kitchens, and what he thought of women in the Michelin industry. He said the main reasons why there are less women in kitchens is because a)physical strength (i agree with this as I often have to get the boys to help me out with carrying heavy trays/stockpots, and pulling fridges out) and b) high emotions. He said that women often take comments in the kitchen a bit closer to heart than men, whilst with heated comments during the middle of service men often forget or dont think that it means much. I think i would have to agree with this too, and he said it's also mainly these two reasons that women in michelin kitchens often get pushed onto larder or pastry, because the men feel that they can get away with doing this. I also mentioned that Nick used to be a chef in Ilkley, where Marco attained his first michelin star at The Box Tree. He asked whether he was still a chef now, I said no, he works in I.T, and he said "Ah, he got out of it then, clever boy!".
He's a very honest guy and I like that. I asked him if he missed being a "real chef" (as in working in kitchens) and he basically said "Hell no!"- which would be exactly the same thing i would say if i had managed to get out of kitchens and on to TV. He's not as stern as he is on television but you could tell when he went into "camera mode" because he squinted his eyes a bit more, spoke slower and more sharper, and waved his knife about a bit more (something he does, he told us, to manage to speak clearly in front of the camera, like a sort of speaking aid)! All that stuff is for his tv image, for the camera- just like Ramsey and his swearing I suppose.

As this was a masterclass, involved with Bernard Matthews, he of course showed us a few delicious recipes using turkey. He also used knorr stock pots in all of his dishes, because he is of course also the face of Knorr at the moment, as well as Bernard Matthews (busy man!). He made us a turkey bolognese, a roast turkey waldorf salad, a turkey thai green curry, a turkey and leek casserole and a turkey milanese. My fave was the bolognese i think, because he added lots of chilli and some dark chocolate into the ragu so the flavour was lovely and intense.
At the end of all the recipes and filming, we all got given a copy of Marco Pierre White's latest cookbook- Marco Made Easy, which he signed. I had a full read of the book on the train home- It focuses on using really nice good quality ingredients, and then the rest of the ingredients in the recipe are items you would find in your store cupboards- mustard, worchester sauce, red wine vinegar etc. Like theres a whole section on steak- you go out and buy your favourite cut of steak, and then theres all these recipes in the book on what you can do with that steak with just items from the cupboard. I like the style, it's different. Once we'd done all the promotion photos (the photos i've put in the blog are taken by Sammie Hodges- one of the other winners- I havent been emailed the photos the bernard matthews people took yet) and we were all about to leave, the crew were just like "Mel, could we speak to you for a moment?". I was thinking OH GOD what have I done now? Lol! Nah, turns out they liked the way i was in front of the camera with Marco, so they asked me to do a little interview about what i thought about turkey and why Britain should be eating more of it. One of the camera guys said "theres a little bit of a food presenter in you isn't there?", which made me pretty happy- because as we all know, i am the next big celebrity chef, it just aint all confirmed yet, haha!!
Then I started my rather chaotic journey home, which involved the train being 20 minutes out of Paddington, before stopping for no reason, and then an announcement came through the train saying "We have stopped and are delayed due to a fatality". The whole carriage groaned, and I had to ask the guy next to me "What does fatality mean?" and he said " theres been a jumper"!!! Couldn't believe how not bothered everyone was by this, as if it happens all the time! Anyway, despite getting back to Bath very late, i had a wonderful day with Marco Pierre White and shall never forget it! Will post up the promo video once they've edited it all and got it up online!

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