Sunday, 11 April 2010

'Still got the cake' - Life after Masterchef

It’s all over. Those weeks and months of hard work and secrets. The challenges, the travels, the interviews and (just occasionally) the cooking.

My time as a Masterchef finalist is done and I can look back with pride at what we all achieved: heaving hot boxes through the courtyard of a thousand year old castle; working alongside some of the best amateur chefs in the country and then progressing to the final and running a restaurant with two of the nicest chaps I could ever have hoped to meet; cooking Alain Ducasse’s own signature dessert and serving it to the legendary man himself (not to mention a table full of Michelin starred chefs); transforming offal and other seldom used cuts of meat into dishes fit for a prime time BBC1 cooking show. To name but a few of the once-in-a-lifetime challenges that we faced.

Except it’s not over. It’s only just beginning.

By Thursday morning my inbox was registering almost 700 unread emails that had come in since Wednesday’s final episode. Amongst them were job offers, enquiries from agents and, most lovely of all, messages from people I have never met. People who were kind enough to take the time to write and say how much they enjoyed the show and send their congratulations at my reaching the final.

Thank you to you all. I will reply, I promise - but I may be some time. In a real sense rather than an ominous Captain Oates sense.

There are a number of very exciting projects in the pipeline, amongst them a book and a restaurant - both of which, I must add, are in the very early stages of development. But as soon as there is more news, it will be announced right here on my blog.

So watch this space.

In the mean time, the chocolate and coffee pot recipe that dazzled the critics is available here, on the BBC Food website (but don’t freeze the espuma!). However, if you’re looking for something more hearty and warming, might I suggest this lamb breast recipe, which is currently slow-roasting in my oven, albeit a more spiced version. It’s amazing what you learn from cooking in India for a Maharajah.

Oh, and I’m on Twitter: please drop by and say hello.

Wicked-cool spaghetti pics by the amazing @photolotte


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Good luck with it all, Alex - richly deserved!

(And, should you ever have a spare moment again (which seems unlikely!) please, please post your lamb sweetbread recipe which you served at Prism.)

Jules said...

Congrats again for getting to the finals. I look forward to hearing more about your projects in the future. I'm planning to make the delicious chocolate coffee pots soon and given my Husband doesn't like coffee it leave more for me!

Sharon said...

So pleased that you have lots of things in the pipeline; the book and restaurant both sound very exciting!

Photos are fantastic - can you tell me where the bowl/dish in the first shot is from?

Good luck with everything and look forward to hearing about it on the blog - hope you keep updating Just Cook It as I really enjoy reading it. It is one of my favourite food blogs (and I read alot of them!).

EssexGourmet said...

We all wait with baited breath to hear how your new life unfolds. Much success to you Alex!

josordoni said...

it's absolutely fantastic Alex, and of course, as you say, the real prize is yet to come.

Not time to pinch yourself yet, you are still living the dream. :)

Joy said...

Hey Alex

I loved this series of Masterchef and you had brilliant dishes!
You should be very proud of what you have achieved. I hope you go on doing great things.

Keep up with the good work :)

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed watching this season's masterchef. As an observer it seemed the three of you were the best contestants ever with really amazing looking and sounding food, including the masterchef masters.

May Llyn said...

Just wondering how many cans of Alphabetti Spaghetti it took until you got all the letters you needed!

Unknown said...

Well done Alex mate

We were all rooting for you!

Your still a winner and you have acheived so much

Big up!


@CristoMusic (Twitter)

Lynn said...

What an adventure. I wish you well in everything you do with your 'Life after Masterchef'

Alicia Foodycat said...

Onwards and upwards!

Dave said...

I hope that sometime soon the BBC decides to port Masterchef out to us on BBC America so I can belatedly follow along (not that it hasn't been exciting trailing your tweets and blog entries.)

Congratulations indeed, and may your other endeavours be equally successful.

Kavey said...

So glad to hear that the offers and opportunities are rolling in, as you deserve.

What have you been up to since the filming, by the way? Mostly the freelance writing, or other projects too?

Again, well done on your achievements - it was a fantastic series to watch, my favourite so far and that's mainly because I felt so much admiration for all three finalists.

Wishing you well in everything that comes next and looking forward to visiting the restaurant, reading the book and watching you go from success to success!

Warmest regards

Anonymous said...

Totally impressed that you found something to do with alphabet spaghetti - but is this stuff on your "not to be eaten list" as it should be???


Hi Alex
Good to see you back writing so soon after the tremendous finals - I only found your blog a few days ago and am looking forward to testing out some of your ideas Keep smiling x chris

Jan said...

LOVE the spaghetti photos!
As I've said before you are still a winner - best of luck in whatever you do Alex and Charlotte. I know you will do well x

Roving Lemon said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while, and your recent adventures on Masterchef, with great interest. Wish I could be in the UK to see it, but wanted to send along congratulations and best wishes for your future endeavors! Looking forward to hearing about what comes next.

Craig lockwood said...

Have you thought about more robust hosting and a new design for your blog. I would be happy to help as you have helped me by inspiring me to cook more.

HH said...

Well done Alex! Great to hear that you have plenty of opportunities coming your way! Best of luck.

Boo said...

Best of luck Alex, I loved this series of Masterchef so much more than any of those proceeding it. Can't wait to hear about the projects, all sounds very exciting.

Anne said...

Hi Alex,
just a little message to tell you how much in awe I am of you and your cooking! Following your adventures on Masterchef has cost me a lot of nerves - and I was only watching! I can't imagine the pressures you must have gone through, and you've mastered it all so amazingly well and always with a smile on your face. I really wish you all the very, very best for your future career in cooking. And I'm looking forward to eating at your restaurant one day - because hell, I just know you'll open one really soon!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say well done - I love your blog and really enjoyed seeing you on Masterchef. You cook with a whimsicality and a sincerity that is really quite wonderful. The coffee and biscuit idea is something I've been playing with in my head for a while - how cool to see it done on tv and so well! Best of luck in all your culinary adventures and endeavours and I'm sure you'll go on to great things.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I look forward to both the book and restaurant and the journey to both of them. Hooray and weel derserved.

Amiable Peculiarities said...

Hi Alex, Congratulations! I looked you up after the final when my Masterchef addiction was suffering cold turkey! I just wanted to say well done, we really enjoyed the journey! And the very best of luck in your future projects, can't wait to see what materialises! Jane

Hollow Legs said...

Brilliant work - well done! You must be very proud. What an exciting future in front of you.

Ali said...

I hope you are very proud, you have achieved so much. We all need to have more of the 'still got the cake' philosphy!

Well done that man!

Katie said...

Exciting times ahead indeed. The worlds your oyster at the moment - or should that be your cooking pot :)
Keep us informed and the best of luck.
BTW, Just Cook It would make a great restaurant name or book title!

Aeolianne said...

well done Alex, you were terrific, such a nice personality came across in all the programmes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alex! Congratulations we always knew what a wonderful foodie you were! Make the most of this fabulous opportunity,its a great chance that some chefs don't even get. If you ever come to Australia - we would definately give you a job! hehehe Go the Book Deal! Lots of Love Jess and Scott Hardy xxx

Sarah-Jane - said...

Glad everything is "shining" and there are loads of opportunities for you to have.

You are too skilled not to be able to follow your dreams :-)

Unknown said...

Just discovered your blog alex, enjoyed masterchef and thought you were all great. tough competition though! Wish you well for the future.

Unknown said...

Congratulations and commiserations in equal quantities. I was very impressed with the standard of all the finalists. It was a shame in a way that there could be only one winner. Good luck with the future projects.


BTW all of us at the Omlet forum squealed with delight when we saw your Eglu and chooks in the final programme!

Unknown said...

Well Alex my husband and I were at the edge of our seats last week as your show has just been aired in New Zealand.(better late than never I suppose).

You made some amazing dishes and all 3 of you men were truely amazing!

we are so glad we weren't the judges - how did they choose???

We could honeslty feel the pressure you guys were under and we also shed a few tears for you all along the way, for the feelings of dissapointment, relief & being proud.

we would DEFINATELY dine in a resturant that has you in the kitchen - so well done and 'go nuts' with your desires.

Congrats - From the Aussie who married a kiwi & now living in Hawkes Bay NZ.(the fruit bowl of NZ) Amazing produce & wines are in this beautiful part of NZ. You'll be in heaven...Yumm!
cheers Susie