Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Girlfriend Tested out Masterchef's Winning Dish

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Girlfriend Tested out Masterchef's Winning Dish

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

THE GIRLFRIEND of Ash Mair, Britain's new Masterchef, today told how they worked together to dream up his "exquisite" dishes on an ageing electric cooker in their Barnes flat.

Begona Unanue helped Mair test different combinations of ingredients for the creations that would win him the title after the most fiercely contested series in the programme's history.

Mair's winning menu included a starter of monkfish tail, a main course of lamb and a bread and butter pudding.

Miss Unanue, 33, said: "We were always trying to think up new ideas and test them to see if different things worked together.

"The night before the Grand Final a few things were not coming out as expected and we had to start all over again. There was a bit of panic going on. I eventually had to go to bed because I had to get up early in the morning but he was still there working at 3am."

The translator, from the Basque Country, said Ash's victory was all more remarkable because of the ramshackle facilities he had to practise with.

Unlike some rivals who could use the kitchens where they worked, freelance chef Mair had to prepare for the competition at home, she said, adding: "You should see our kitchen. It's really small and we just have one old electrical oven which makes it really hard to control the heat. …

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