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5 former MasterChef contestants from Norfolk

Tim Kinnaird, owner of Macarons & More in Norwich, is one of the former MasterChef contestants that comes from Norfolk Picture: Denise Bradley

Tim Kinnaird, owner of Macarons & More in Norwich, is one of the former MasterChef contestants that comes from Norfolk Picture: Denise Bradley

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MasterChef is the toughest cooking competition on the telly and these are some of the cooks from Norfolk that have taken on the challenge and gone on to great success.

Oliver Boon reached the finals of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2012 and now runs Benoli Italian restaurant in Norwich Picture: Supplied by Oliver BoonOliver Boon reached the finals of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2012 and now runs Benoli Italian restaurant in Norwich Picture: Supplied by Oliver Boon

1. Oliver Boon

Oliver appeared on the 2012 series of MasterChef: The Professionals and made the final three aged just 22. Afterwards judge Michel Roux Jr asked him to come and work for him at Roux at the Landau in London, where he later became head chef.

Mr Boon, who grew up in Suffolk, now lives in Cromer and opened Benoli Italian restaurant in Norwich last July offering homemade pasta dishes and antipasti, inspired by his childhood travels to the country.

Tim Kinnaird in Macarons & More in the Royal Arcade in Norwich. Picture: Denise BradleyTim Kinnaird in Macarons & More in the Royal Arcade in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

2. Tim Kinnaird

Former doctor Tim swapped checking pulses for patisserie after reaching the final of MasterChef in 2010 and since then he has regularly returned as a guest judge.

Following his success on the show, Mr Kinnaird started developing his Macarons & More business from his kitchen at his Shipdham home and he now has a large unit in Hellesdon, where cooking classes also take place, and a successful shop in Norwich’s Royal Arcade and a kiosk inside intu Chapelfield shopping centre.

3. Yaz Godfrey

Yaz grew up in Swanton Morley where she started out in the industry and did work experience with Richard Hughes, now chef director at The Assembly House, at the former Lavender House restaurant in Brundall and she now lives and works in London.

She took part in the 2019 series of MasterChef: The Professionals and made it through to the quarter-finals and made an impression with her bold dishes including tobacco ice cream.

Samantha Mattocks, who runs The Arabian Magazine about horses, appeared on MasterChef in 2019. Picture: Sonya DuncanSamantha Mattocks, who runs The Arabian Magazine about horses, appeared on MasterChef in 2019. Picture: Sonya Duncan

4. Samantha Mattocks

Norfolk-based Samantha was a contestant on the regular series in 2019 and although she was eliminated in the heats she has gone on to do cooking demos around the UK.

She is also the founder of The Arabian Magazine about horses, with seven of her own along with five cats, and she runs a blog called The Delicate Diner about eating gluten and lactose-free.

Former professional footballer Danny Mills, who reached the finals of Celebrity Masterchef in 2012, at the launch of the 2017 Grand East Anglia Run. Picture: Ian BurtFormer professional footballer Danny Mills, who reached the finals of Celebrity Masterchef in 2012, at the launch of the 2017 Grand East Anglia Run. Picture: Ian Burt

5. Danny Mills

Former Norwich City star Danny Mills reached the final of Celebrity Masterchef in 2012, which was won by actress and writer Emma Kennedy, after impressing judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Mr Mills is a former pupil of Sprowston High School and he started his career at Norwich City after coming through their youth system and went on to play for Manchester City and Leeds United.


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