20 March 2019
The Nurtured Way

MasterChef 2019 Chefs – Jay Patel

This year, Jay Patel 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.

Jay, aged 29. Lived in London his whole life, mainly in the south west. He went to university in Bristol and outside of cooking, Jay is a keen sportsman and wine enthusiast. Working as a Management Consultant, his work allows him to travel and explore various different cuisines.

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

What was the reason in taking part in MasterChef ?

I wanted to test myself against the best and find out just how good I am. I’ve spent a few years now mastering the technical skills an flavour combinations and I wanted to express that.


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

I think in the heat of the moment, you just have to brush it off and focus on the next dish. It’s obviously not great to hear it but the adrenaline makes you quickly forget. At the end of the day, the judges know what they are talking about and sometimes you just have to take it on the chin.


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

Totally intense and time absolutely flies by. Although there is always an entourage of people around you, you barely notice them, Gregg or John. The other guys are all in the same boat and so focused that there is very little interaction in truth. Outside of the kitchen, the comradery is great.


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

I like to pair classic European techniques with my understanding of how flavours from the sub-continent can marry with simple ingredients. I used cumin in my butternut squash puree in Round one, knowing that the robust nature of the vegetable could handle the strong spice.


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

I’d say a fashion between French and Asian. Technically I like to cook food in French styles but the flavours I look for say true to my Indian heritage.


What was your greatest accomplishment during your time on MasterChef?

Being called a star by John after round one!


Has there been any downsides?

Only regrets are not executing round two as I should have and the emotion of missing out on further rounds.


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

Keep an eye out on the time and don’t try and over complicate things too much! I would always recommend a friend to having a go at the experience. I’ll never forget it and has me more interested in cooking.