12 March 2019
The Nurtured Way

MasterChef 2019 chefs – Elliot Purcell

This year, Elliot Purcell takes on MasterChef cooking and competing through a variety of heats, quarter finals and knockouts until the ultimate winner is crowned. Gregg Wallace and John Torode judge the dishes being served – with all the action, tantrums, successes and burning disasters caught on camera. The winner goes away with a trophy and the prestige of being The MasterChef of the series.

Elliot Purcell – “my mum calls me ‘Perci’ I am 32 years old soon to be 33! I am 6ft 1” and weight is the best part of 20 stone – so I am big boned and proud! Lol! I am a father of 2 beautiful children Dylan, 9 and Annabella, 3. I love them both very much like you wouldn’t believe!! I was born in St Thomas’ hospital, lived in Streatham, Thornton Heath, West Norwood in my early years and I am now a South London boy. As I grew up we also lived in Tunbridge Wells, Basingstoke and now I own a flat in Whyteleafe. I went to school in South Norwood, college in Selsdon, Croydon and graduated from University of Westminster. Most of my years I worked in retail, worked in several shops and companies but my favourite was my 6 years at John Lewis where I was a section manager, however currently I am the number 2 for sales at Barnard Marcus in South Croydon. My main function is to list properties to sell but I am involved in all aspects of the business on a day to day level!”

We spoke to Chef Elliot to find out more about his experience on the BBC1 show…

What was the reason in taking part in MasterChef ?

I am soo passionate about food it’s unreal and for years I was told I am a really good cook. Friends and family told me I should apply but the truth of the matter was the fear of coming on master chef was too great so I chickened out of doing it year after year. But having children and a family of your own makes you want to build a better future for them and make sure they are proud of your achievements as much I am proud of my parent’s achievements! So, this year I finally thought that I wanted to do something for me and prove it to myself I am a fairly decent cook. Before I second guessed myself, I submitted the application and the rest was history.


Is there a way to handle the criticism from the judges?

In my opinion the best way to handle the criticism from the judges is just to embrace what they are saying and accept the blue print to succeed in the competition and as a competent chef! Never take it personally, although it’s hard when you put you emotions on a plate, but you be willing to grow and criticism is growth.


What is the atmosphere like in the kitchen cooking alongside other chefs?

The KITCHEN…I have to say Gregg and John very much controlled the domain with humour to lighten the mood and questions about your dish. Everyone is nervous and everyone is in the same boat, so it can be a sea of tranquillity or the Bermuda Triangle, but you just enjoy it all and lap it up!


What is your approach to the imagination and creation of your dishes?

Cooking is something I enjoy because of the happiness and joy is brings to others. There is nothing better than plating up a dish, presenting it someone then them taking their first bite and just smiling with nothing to say! So my imagination is to create something that’s so delicious it’s makes you want to prrrrrrr!! So usually I have a concept or a meat and I build around that to create something Yummy!!


What is your cooking style and what can people expect from your food?

I can only describe my style as simple yet effective. I make sure my heart, soul and personality goes into every dish I do. I am a home cook, I love feeding people so expect big portions, big flavour combinations and lots of variety. I cook a mixture of Caribbean, Traditional English and some East Asian thrown in for good measure.


What was your greatest accomplishment during your time on MasterChef?

It’s hard to pick one moment to be my greatest accomplishment, making it to the show becoming part of the 56 contestants of MasterChef UK 2019 was amazing. Also, having my coconut fried chicken published by BBC is an amazing achievement it’s itself and I happily had John, Gregg, Billy, Jack and Elizabeth all love my Chicken and Chips dish, wish is a memory I will cherish for forever.


Has there been any downsides?

The only downside was it coming to an end. The experience has changed my life, the way I view food and my ability. It has done wonders for my confidence. So for me personally the only downside would be keeping my excitement and joy in.


Would there be anything you would change and would you recommend to a friend?

Not to curdle my custard – ha ha. Anyone who is passionate about cooking and wants to showcase their humble creations and dishes or even to elevate their skills, apply, apply, apply!!! An amazing experience, you will meet some awesome people along the way and just learn things you otherwise wouldn’t! I am chuffed I made it to knockout week!