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'Celebrity MasterChef' 2012 winner crowned - interview

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After weeks of challenges, Gregg Wallace and John Torode's toughest criticism and some delicious cooking, Celebrity MasterChef crowned a winner tonight.

Emma Kennedy overcame favourite Danny Mills and TV presenter Michael Underwood to take home the acclaimed prize.

Digital Spy caught up with a shocked Emma to find out how she was feeling.

Celebrity Masterchef 2012 winner Emma Kennedy

© BBC



What were you thinking when John and Gregg lined you up for that final result?
"I 100% thought Danny was going to win. It never crossed my mind that my name would be called out. Danny was so technically brilliant that I thought Danny was streets ahead. But it turns out that what I put on the plate tasted great and I guess that is what it's all about."

How did you rate your cooking skills at the start of the series?
"I wouldn't have rated it at all. I hadn't even poached an egg. I think technically I still haven't poached an egg. I did cook every day, but like most people I think it involved just taking a lump of protein from the fridge, sticking it in the oven, steaming some veg and that was it. I had no ambition, I had never made sauces, I had never made a pasty, I had only made one cake in my life. For me, the learning curve was enormous."

Do you regret now only taking up cooking so late in your life?
"I suppose you could say that about anything. I think the nearest equivalent is a musical instrument. I hate the fact I can't play the piano. But this just goes to show, if you sit down and are forced to do something over a certain period of time - you can do it. All three of the finalists have come away with a life skill that we will never unlearn. That's something incredible about MasterChef."

Do you spend much time with the legends that are John and Gregg?
"No, you don't. You are kept totally separate. The contestants are kept in the room, which we called the Room of Depression. The only time you see John and Gregg is when you are cooking and when they are tasting the food.

"John is a lot tougher than you see on TV. He is the driving force behind making you the best that you possibly can be. And Gregg is constantly cracking jokes. It's one line after enough. He's like Tim Vine. Tim Vine with a whisk.

"The thing about Gregg though is that it's worse when Gregg doesn't like your food. You get used to John not liking it, he's a proper chef and he knows what he's talking about. Gregg knows what he's talking about, but there's something uncle-like about him. If he doesn't like it, it's like hearing your dad say, 'You're s**t'."

'Masterchef' Series 8: Gregg Wallace, John Torode

© BBC / Shine TV/Emilie Sandy



How does it feel to know you are a MasterChef champion?
"It's very weird putting on the MasterChef apron. It's like getting an England cap and putting on an England shirt. It's the culinary version of that. Not so much when you're in the studio, but when you go on the outside challenges, you have the MasterChef badge on and you want to do them proud."

Are you expecting lots of calls from friends who want to try your food out?
"I'll tell you what has happened. Since MasterChef went out, I haven't had one single invitation for dinner at someone's house. I heard from people who did the show before as well, apparently it's the death knell for ever getting asked around for supper. Never again. Thanks John and Gregg?"

When can viewers see you cooking again?
"I've got to do a cook-off with Shelina from MasterChef at the Good Food Show. That's David vs Goliath isn't it? She's my favourite MasterChef contestant ever. And really there is no comparison between the two shows. She'll blow me out of the water. I'll just be incredibly excited to see her."

Congratulations again Emma!
"Thank you. It really is amazing. I can make tuile biscuits. I'm just happy with that. I can have that on my headstone. Emma Kennedy RIP, she could make good tuile biscuits. I'd take that."

Emma will cook live with MasterChef champ Shelina on Saturday, October 20 at the BBC Good Food Show Scotland. For more info and to book, visit bbcgoodfoodshow.com or call 0844 581 1362.

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