This year Callum takes on Masterchef: The Professionals, cooking and competing through a variety of heats, quarter finals and knockouts until the ultimate winner is crowned. Greg Wallace, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti 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 Professional Masterchef of the series.
Callum is 27 years old who is extremely passionate about food. His other passions include, football and going to the cinema. Callum has worked for a variety of high end hotels and restaurants, starting att The Lanesborough, then moved to Geneva to work at The Grand hotel Kempinski, which he then went on to Aubergue du L’ion D’or. After these incredible opportunities Callum went for the dream most young chefs want; working and living in Paris at Le Celadon and he has been working under the excellent guidance of Steve Smith at Bohemia in Jersey for just over 2 years.
We spoke to Chef Callum to find out more about his experience on the BBC2 show…
What was the reason in taking part in Masterchef?
I thought I was at the point in my career where it was time to push myself in a different way, try and showcase my skills and improve my weaknesses.
Is there a way to handle the criticism from the judges?
Take it on board and listen to what they are saying, think of the years of practice and knowledge they have. They really do want everyone to do well.
What is the atmosphere like cooking alongside other chefs?
From my experience on the show I would say the atmosphere was great, as I met a great bunch of people in the groups, where we all got along very well and tried to take away from the stress and pressure you could be under with light jokes. Also, the staff at Shine:tv are great at making everyone relaxed and settled from the get go.
What is your approach to the imagination and creation of your dishes?
There is quite an extensive through process behind my ideas. It’s rare that the first idea that comes to your mind is correct and sometimes it’s a case of trial and error until you get it right.
What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?
My cooking style, I would say is clean and tasteful plates of food. Trying to use one main ingredient and use that in many different techniques as possible.
What was your greatest accomplishment during the show?
I think I have two great accomplishments one was obviously getting to the Quarter finals. I would have loved to of gone further but still a great achievement. The other one would be a Potato dish I had created for the show which I was waiting for later in the rounds to use, as it was as far as I’m concerned a knock out dish and myself on a plate.
Are there any down sides?
The only downside I could say is I was a zombie for a few weeks with all the travel and practice but totally worth it.
Would you recommend for a friend to take part and why?
I would recommend to a friend to take part in it but would stress to them that they have to put the hard work in and practice.