MASTERCHEF’S John Torode cooked up a storm during a visit to Fareham College.
The celebrity Australian chef was at the college’s open day.
During his visit he judged the dishes of six trainee chefs, giving them compliments on strong points, and suggestions of how it could be improved.
Impressing him the most was Steven Cross, 20, who is studying level two professional chef diploma.
He rustled up pan-fried venison with peas, shallots, bacon lardons, fondant potatoes and pea puree.
He said: ‘The inspiration for the dish came when I visited a restaurant just before Christmas.
‘There was venison and on another dish there was buttered peas and onions, and I sort of put the two together.’
The dish was crowned as the winner, and Steven received a signed copy of a cookery book and certificate from John.
‘The visit went really well. At first I was really nervous,’ added Steven.
‘It’s not everyday you have a high-profile professional chef, who comes and tastes your food.
‘I’m happy and proud mine was picked. I’d been nervous about it all week, but once I started speaking to John I relaxed. I’ve enjoyed cooking from a young age, I remember cooking with my nan and my mum.
‘Then I thought why don’t I take a course in it, and here I am.’
The college has three training kitchens for students to use.
One of the kitchens underwent a £140,000 refurbishment, which John was asked to formally open.
After that he gave a masterclass in preparing and cooking a fish dish in front of an audience.
John said: ‘The visit went brilliantly well. The quality of the food from these young chefs was very high.
‘I thought I was amazing during my masterclass. And everyone seemed to enjoy it. Anything people learnt and took away from the class is good enough for me.’
Simon Thorne, 49, of Romsey Avenue, Fareham, watched the class.
He said: ‘It was excellent and I found it very interesting.
‘I learnt that fish cooks very quickly, and that was good to see.’
Leah Palmer, director of faculty at the college, said: ‘All the students were really inspired by John’s visit. It was a great day.’