Matt’s master class in TV stardom

Matt Hodkin - MasterChef: The Professionals
Matt Hodkin - MasterChef: The Professionals

Chef Matt Hodkin is flying the flag for Sheffield in the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals, which began this week.

The heat was on from the start for Matt –former head chef of the Wig & Pen, now at Vasco’s in Wickersley.

Monday’s strawberry and mint quinois rice puddingfailed to impress judges Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace.

The skills test on Tuesday was little better. But he redeemed himself with a classic lamb dish which “worked well” for Michel Roux Jr… apart from the anchovy and smoked cheese elements.

Now viewers must watch tonight’s quarter-final to see whether he makes it to the next level.

Matt filmed the series during a brief spell at Sheffield’s Metropolitan Hotel: “It was hard to keep secret,” he admitted, once the news was out.

“That first round was an epic fail – the nerves definitely took over. The whole thing was a great experience; but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

“Previously I’ve been judgemental, thinking I’d be able to do better than these guys. But actually being there with the cameras, all the crew behind the scenes, the pressure is unbelievable.”

* MasterChef: BBC Two, Thursday, 8pm