Amateur St Albans cook hopes to become MasterChef champ

Colney Heath's Sarah McCready is currently appearing on MasterChef, BBC One

Colney Heath's Sarah McCready is currently appearing on MasterChef, BBC One - Credit: Photo supplied

A villager and self-confessed “foodie” who has all the ingredients to become a success on BBC One’s MasterChef has credited her mum and nana for refining her palate.

Sarah McCready, of Colney Heath, so impressed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace that she has made it through to knockout week on the popular series.

Locals can watch the 24 year old cooking up a storm on Monday, after shining in the kitchen during four weeks of fierce competition.

Out of the hundreds of hopefuls who auditioned for the show, 40 amateur cooks have been whittled down to the most promising 12 – including Sarah.

By the end of next week, the best eight contestants will become semi-finalists in the show which aims to discover Britain’s best amateur cook.

Sarah works as a property developer, having graduated from Oxford University after attending Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School.

She said friends and family encouraged her to audition for MasterChef because her love of cooking had resulted in her catering for friends’ parties, write a food blog and dining reviews.

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Sarah said: “Growing up in an Italian family, it feels like I have been cooking all my life. Both my mum and nana are fantastic cooks. Cooking with my nana has helped refine my palate. I am a foodie through and through.”

Now though, Mexican food is her favourite to cook and eat.

She describes her food as “fun; I’m not necessarily a traditional cook, but my food is big on flavour and colour”.

Being filmed for MasterChef has been “really fun, and stressful, but my job is high pressure, so I like that environment”.

Sarah added that although she and fellow cooks were competing against each other, “everyone is really supportive, and we talk about food constantly. People are joking and everyone has a good sense of humour.”

She admitted to initially being worried about appearing on television “because it is an alien world to me. It is hard to cope with, getting used to seeing yourself on TV.”

Sarah said that being one of 12 on knockout week was an “amazing achievement. It does boost your confidence.”

And while comments from the judges sometimes hurt, “you get used to it, and they are always very constructive and fair. I have developed a thicker skin now.

“I’m enjoying the whole experience.”

MasterChef , Monday April 6, BBC One, 8.30pm