Final four - MasterChef: The Professionals 2017, Jamie Park

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th December 2017

Tonight marks the beginning of finals week for MasterChef: The Professionals 2017.

One of the four hopefuls looking to impress veteran judges Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing and take home the crown is Jamie Park.

Find out more about the head chef from The Frog in London:

MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 finalist Jamie Park
MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 finalist
Jamie Park

Name: Jamie Park

Region: East London, originally from Hull

Age: 27

Profession: At time of filming, sous chef now, head chef

Place of work: The Frog

Personal: In a relationship with Spanish girlfriend, Maria

Twitter: @Jamie_Park90

Instagram: @jamie_park1

Cooking Background

“I went to Hull College to get my NVQ in Practical and Professional Cookery, where I really fell in love with the kitchen. I then went to work as the commis chef at the Pipe & Glass Inn in South Dalton, where, after six month I was promoted to chef de partie. In 2012 I moved to York, to the Middlethorpe Hall & Spa and soon after became senior chef de partie.

Two years later, I moved to London and joined chef Adam Handling’s (MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 finalist) team. I’ve been with him ever since. When filming started I was sous chef at his first restaurant, The Frog E1 in Shoreditch and I’m now the head chef.”

Influences

“I’ve always been fascinated by interesting flavour combinations. I can remember tasting foods when I was younger and thinking about ways I could make it better or enhance the flavour. It’s something that’s always come very naturally to me, and I was really inspired by my tutor at college - Ian Sneddon. I was studying for my level 2 qualification but I was being disruptive because I was bored. They wanted to throw me off the course but Ian persevered, he saved me and kept me on the course, and ended up getting me my first job. I owe a lot to him.

“Since I moved to London, my biggest inspiration has been working with Adam Handling and his group head chef, Steven Kerr. I’ve been working with them both for four years now, and Adam’s achieved an incredible amount for his age.”

Food Passions

“I’m really into development and research – I love experimenting and exploring unusual flavour combinations to create something really unexpected. I’m also quite passionate about sustainability, and I’ve found that the two go hand-in-hand. I love creating dishes with ingredients that might be overlooked or underused, and making the most of an ingredient’s full potential.”

On MasterChef: The Professionals

“It was actually Adam Handling who encouraged me to apply. He was on the show four years ago and it opened a lot of doors for him, so he thought it would be a good experience for me.

“The toughest moment for me has been the Skills Test on the first day. It’s the first time you walk into the studio, you’ve not met anyone, and you’ve got no idea what you’re going to have to do. I like to plan ahead and get everything organised but that’s not something you can do in that situation, so it was quite tough in that respect.

“I feel really good about getting to the final four. It’s been an amazing experience but the competition at semi finals stage was really tough and only gets tougher after that. The bar is set very high – the other chefs I’ve competed against are amazing so to get this far is a huge achievement in itself.”

Cooking ambitions

“I’ve always had this dream of a restaurant similar in style to Dan Barber’s restaurant, Blue Hill. It would be on a small-holding and be completely self-sufficient. I’d grow my own produce and keep our own animals. I don’t really know where I’d like to open this restaurant, but it could be anywhere. I’d also love to make my own wine. I’ve been studying for a WSET wine qualification because I want to learn more about matching food and wine.

“MasterChef: The Professionals has meant I’ve met some really cool people along the way and I’m looking forward to doing some exciting things next year. Watch this space…!”

MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 – The Final Week, starts tonight, continues Wednesday 21st and concludes Thursday 22nd December, 8pm on BBC Two

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th December 2017

Final four - MasterChef: The Professionals 2017, Jamie Park