MasterChef’s Shauna Kelly is back in the kitchen after leaving the show
- Credit: Archant
Temple Fortune entrepreneur Shauna Kelly, who left MasterChef before the semi-final, on being followed around Waitrose, cooking in other people’s homes, and contestants cutting themselves on sharp knives.
Shauna Kelly greets me with her signature white headband with musical notations at The Juniper Tree in Belsize Park on Tuesday evening, preparing her dishes for a special collaboration with the restaurant later that evening.
She had been there since 9am, rustling up dishes she had previously trialled on MasterChef, including her chestnut and apple soup, and Risotto Nero, with pan-fried scallops, salmon roe, gremolata and squid ink tuile.
It’s only her second time in a professional kitchen since leaving MasterChef before the semi-final this week.
Shauna was only allowed to tell one person – her partner – how far she got in the competition before it aired – especially as she says her father would have told everyone in County Sligo, West Coast of Ireland, where she grew up.
Since the series started, Shauna, 46, has not been able to walk around Waitrose or Marks and Spencer without people peering into her basket, and she has also been followed round corners by shop assistant fans of MasterChef.
Gaining a reputation for her colourful food, the former advertising director with Saatchi & Saatchi and mother to Jack, five, honed her skills on the dinner party circuit.
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“I just love to indulge the creative side of my personality and I think it shows itself in food.
“I enjoy having friends around for dinner and want to entertain and delight.”
Preparing for MasterChef, she cooked “seven days a week - my wallet was empty, you want to buy the finest ingredients.”
In a professional kitchen for the first time, she revealed all the contestants struggled with the heat from the ovens and managed to cut themselves on the sharp knives.
Shauna enjoyed cooking an Irish breakfast with a twist, making the black pudding from scratch from pig’s blood.
She impressed judges with her blood orange and geranium chocolate marquise, with edible flowers.
Shauna is rooting for Steve Kielty to win, who is through to the semi-finals; a “rough diamond who serves Michelin-style food”.
She has launched a catering business, HOMEmade Hampstead since the show, where she cooks for families in their kitchens, making them batches of food for the week.
She recommends that everyone dedicates some time in the week to cooking.
Inspired by her mum, who always cooked from scratch, she said: “We’re all living in these times where we’re all a bit time poor and it’s very easy to pick a meal from a supermarket, but if you can designate a day for batch cooking, you can get a lot done.
“You know where everything come’s from, and it’s made with the ingredients you choose.”