Lincoln joiner reaches last six of MasterChef

Eamonn Hunt (far right) with the final MasterChef contestants impressed farmers with recipes based on local ingredients in last week’s episode

A joiner from Lincoln has reached the final six of BBC’s MasterChef and will be cooking for Michel Roux Jr on Wednesday’s show.

Eamonn Hunt cooked his way into the final 12 by serving Lincolnshire Red Beef, earning a coveted MasterChef apron.

After numerous telephone and physical interviews and supplying food samples, Hunt was invited to a blind taste test with the show’s presenters Gregg Wallace and John Torode choosing the finalists from a group of 70.

The Lincoln man narrowly missed out on a place in the final last year but with aspirations of becoming a professional chef, he returned with fresh inspiration.

“Being 47 it is too late for me to start from scratch so I wanted MasterChef to kick start things and I’d love to work in a top restaurant and even open my own one day in Lincoln,” said Hunt.

Hunt’s love of cooking stems from time spent in the kitchen as a child alongside his mum, with the memory of watching her make a pilchard pizza when he was seven.

He said: “I love Italian food, the fresh ingredients, simple recipes, alfresco dining and the whole idea of a family orientated meal.”

Never happier than when cooking for friends and family, his food now has a wider audience thanks to MasterChef.

“It is still weird to have your hand shaken by strangers wishing good luck, especially having lived in Lincoln for 25 years without being noticed, but the support is absolutely lovely,” said Hunt.

Hunt has found seeing himself on television hard to get to grips with: “It is odd hearing your voice back but the strangest thing is seeing yourself in the moment looking stressed and emotional, it is very embarrassing.”

A group of supporters meet every week in the Tap and Spile on Hungate to watch MasterChef and Hunt has been using Twitter to interact with well wishers via @HuntEamonn.

MasterChef continues Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One, when the contestants will have to prepare a three-course meal for over 200 guests at Middle Temple – one of the historical Inns of Court at the heart of the British legal system, before cooking for two Michelin starred chef and legend Michel Roux Jr.