Heartbreak as Chris is knocked out of MasterChef contest

Chris Hale, left, on the MasterChef contest
Chris Hale, left, on the MasterChef contest
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A MASTERCHEF competitor from Sandal, Wakefield, was knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the TV cooking show.

Chris Hale, 29, beat tough competition to cook his way through to the final rounds of the popular BBC One cooking programme, which is judged by John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

The father-of-two produced the most talked about dish of the first episode, impressing with his Indian Sushi fusion.

Mr Hale, a former Kettlethorpe High School pupil, said: “It was very stressful trying to produce a dish with so many elements within the one hour time frame.

“John and Gregg were unsure how Indian Sushi would go down so I was obviously really nervous.”

But the quick-witted judges allayed Mr Hale’s fears, as they enjoyed his Turmeric Prawn Tempura, Tuna and Cumin Nori rolls, Tandoori Chicken Nori rolls, Squid stuffed with mushroom Biryani, Date and Tamarind chutney and South Indian Pepper water.

And Mr Torode said it was “ace” and he’s not the only one who thought that, as the idea of Indian Sushi trended on social networking site Twitter and has since been covered in the widely in the national press.

Mr Hale said: “It was a big risk, but I love being creative and Indian Sushi just works well. I love my concept of Sushi fusion.

“Gregg thinks it’ll be a new trend that takes off. So watch this space.”

The entrepreneur, who runs his own altitude training company, then had to cook a surprise ingredient of pigeon which he pan-roasted and served with mashed potato, roasted chestnuts, a chestnut and mushroom stuffing and kale.

The more traditional dish secured Mr Hale a place in the next round.

He said: “We then had to cook a two-course meal for three of last year’s finalists.

“It was all very intense as there’s such a strict time-frame which you don’t have when cooking at home.”

He added that his first dish of Walnut Gnocchi looked like a “dogs dinner” as he found he had too little time to make the Italian potato dish with a wild mushroom sauce and a sage cracker.

Fortunately, Mr Hale’s “theatrical dessert” of chocolate soil, banana ice-cream, tempered chocolate with a warm caramel sauce went down a treat as the judges enjoyed pouring the hot sauce over the chocolate which melted through to reveal the ice cream and chocolate soil.

The dessert had secured the self-taught chef a place in the quarter-finals, fighting off hundreds in the audition process and 40 other contestants to be in the last 24 of the popular BBC One cooking show.

Tweet @AllHaleChris using the hashtag #MasterChefUK.