Norfolk doctor misses out on MasterChef crown

Emma KnightsHe may have just missed out on the coveted MasterChef crown last night but Norfolk doctor Tim Kinnaird still looks set to enjoy the sweet taste of success in the food world as he hopes to open up a patisserie in Norwich.Emma Knights

He may have just missed out on the coveted MasterChef crown last night but Norfolk doctor Tim Kinnaird still looks set to enjoy the sweet taste of success in the food world as he hopes to open up a patisserie in Norwich.

For weeks viewers have seen 37-year-old Tim Kinnaird, from Shipdham, near Dereham, fight off tough competition from more than 130 other contestants picked from thousands of hopefuls to appear on the BBC1 show that aimed to find the country's top amateur chef.

It was a culinary battle watched by more than five million viewers, and which saw the Norfolk paediatrician do everything from cooking at the Tower of London to serving up a dessert to Indian royalty to creating one of Alain Ducasse's iconic dishes for the legendary chef himself.

The eight-week series was actually filmed in autumn last year but the outcome was a closely guarded secret until the final episode was screened last night when the show's judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace declared 34-year-old sales director Dhruv Baker, from Wandsworth, London, to be the ultimate winner.

Despite just missing out on the MasterChef crown, appearing on the show was a dream come true for true for Dr Kinnaird who left his 15 year career as a children's doctor behind in February to pursue a career in food.

Dr Kinnaird, who lives with his wife Rachel, a 36-year-old Dereham GP, and their children Abi and Noah, eight and five, said: 'The important thing for me about being on the show was everything I learned and experienced. It has changed my life and I have this head full of wonderful memories forever.

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'Everything was amazing, even dreamlike at times. I could have had a professional career as a chef straight from leaving school and still never have had the opportunities I have had in MasterChef.

'I am so excited for Dhruv winning too. He is such a nice bloke and when we got back to the UK from India he really excelled. He did not make any mistakes so he absolutely deserved to win. I have tasted his food and it is amazing.'

Dr Kinnaird said one of the key highlights of MasterChef for him was creating a pudding for the Maharajah and his family at his hilltop palace in Jodphur, India.

He created a green tea cardamom and lemon delice with a cube of chocolate mousse and a stack of papaya and white chocolate, topped with a caramel shard, as well as a vegetarian option of roasted pineapple and a green tea sorbet shot.

'I could not believe I had actually made the pudding,' said Dr Kinnaird, who first started cooking when he was just eight-years-old and made sponge cakes when his nanny would visit on a Sunday.

It is his passion for desserts and cakes that Dr Kinnaird now hopes to develop into a career, and he hopes being a MasterChef finalist will mean people will take him more seriously in his career change.

'I would also like to develop a business in cakes and desserts. Plan A is to open up a patisserie in Norwich,' he said.

'I would also like to be involved in food writing and in radio and TV. I haven't really committed myself at the moment I want to see what happens as a consequence of being on the show.'

Last night viewers saw Dr Kinnaird and the other two finalists face their final challenges.

First they were tasked with creating a culinary masterpiece from a mystery box of ingredients, and for this Dr Kinnaird cooked fish soup with langoustine tails and pan-fried fillet of sole served with a rouille.

They were then sent to three of Europe's finest three Michelin star restaurants to cook a busy lunch service. Dr Kinnaird went to L'Auberge De L'ill in Alsace, northern France, where he worked under head chef Marc Haeberlin.

And for the finalists last task they were asked to cook a sublime three course meal for the MasterChef judges.

Dr Kinnaird created a starter of open lasagne of roast squash and wild mushrooms, with a sage butter sauce, followed by a main of roasted pheasant, Savoy cabbage parcels of bread sauce, potatoes pommes Anna and two types of jelly - sloe gin and blackberry, and quince.

He then prepared a dessert of Mont Blanc, which consisted of sweetened chestnut puree with almond meringue, marron glace, blackberries and a pear poached in coffee.

Dr Kinnaird moved from Oxford to Norwich with his family when he was seven-years-old. He went to Blackdale Middle School, in Norwich, and City of Norwich School before studying medicine at university in Birmingham.

He spent time working as a paediatrician at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, before started working as a consultant paediatrician at Norfolk Community Health and Care, in Norwich, in 2005. He left the role in February this year.

Dr Kinnaird said it had been a difficult decision for him to leave his 15 year career as a paediatrician behind and that it had been a privilege to look after children and young people in Norfolk.

Food facts about Dr Kinnaird

t How old were you when you first started cooking? Eight-years-old.

t First thing you ever cooked? Victoria sponge.

t Favourite junk food? Doner kebabs

t What would your last meal be? Steak cooked really rare with salad and a glass of red wine.

t Favourite meal that is quick to prepare? Potato gnocchi with pesto.

t Favourite meal you cook your children? Homemade pizza. Noah likes pepperoni and Abi likes ham and pineapple.

t Guilty food pleasure? As a student I ate tins of sweet corn with salad cream and frankfurters from a tin with tomato sauce.

t Best bit of cooking advice? Think through your recipe, be organised and tidy up as you go along.

t Most indispensible kitchen utensil? Knives.

t Most versatile ingredient? Eggs, because of the range of desserts and main course you can make with them.

t Do you do all the cooking at home? Since I have given up my work as a paediatrician I do all of the cooking, and before I used to do as much as I was able to.

t The chef you most admire and why? Delia Smith. I think she is a legend. The revolution that there has been in British food in the last 10 years you can trace back to Delia.

t Any food you don't like? Sprouts.

Dr Kinnaird's Lemon and Rhubarb Tart



160g plain flour

100g unsalted butter

60g caster sugar

1 medium egg

� vanilla pod

Rhubarb and lemon filling:

500g rhubarb

100g caster Sugar

200ml water

4 egg yolks

100g caster sugar

140ml double cream

zest of � lemon



t Cream butter and sugar until smooth then slowly beat in the egg to the butter and sugar. Gently fold in the flour and add the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod.

t Try not to work the pastry too much and only mix until the dough just comes together.

t Wrap pastry in cling film and chill for at least one hour

t Grease a 10 inch circular flan case with a little butter. Roll pastry out until it is 3mm thick and gently line case with pastry. Let the pastry hang over the edge a little - you trim this after baking.

t Scrunch up a piece of baking parchment to cover pastry case and place on top of case. Fill case with baking beans and blind bake case for 25 to 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius or until pastry golden brown all over. Trim case after baking.

Rhubarb and lemon filling:

t Warm the sugar with the water to make a light sugar syrup, cut rhubarb in 3cm lengths and poach for one minute in the sugar syrup.

t Whisk egg yolks and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add cream and lemon zest.

t Place rhubarb on blind baked tart and pour lemon cream around. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until pale brown. Serve warm dusted with caster sugar