Sussex man’s progress on Masterchef

Ben Addems made it through to the quarter finals
Ben Addems made it through to the quarter finals

A Michelin-star Sussex restaurant cook appeared on Masterchef last night (Tuesday).

Ben Addems, 34, from Eastbourne, progressed to the quarter finals of the national cooking competition.

Ben in kitchen action

Ben in kitchen action

The fine-dining chef – who works at Interlude at Leonardslee Gardens in Horsham – impressed judges with his signature dish, Jerusalem Artichoke Bavarois, after getting off to a tough start in the ‘skills test’ where he was asked to make a pea risotto.

Masterchef judge Monica Galetti said it was not the ‘pea risotto I was wanting’, while co-judge Marcus Wareing said, ‘It is not cooked enough. It is too cold. It is not a pea risotto’.

Ben reacted to the wobble. He said, “I am not happy with that being the start of my competition, but things can only get better from here.”

The former builder redeemed himself in the signature dish round where he whipped up a Jerusalem Artichoke Bavarois topped with raspberry jelly, Italian meringue, sour dough crumble, with pickled and toasted hazelnuts, and fresh, salted raspberries and strawberries served with a thyme oil and birch syrup.

The dessert went down well with two out of the three judges.

Judge Gregg Wallace said, “This is quite remarkable and I am thoroughly enjoying this. My mouth is bouncing back between natural soft fruits and Jerusalem artichoke, and I find the whole thing delightful.”

Marcus Wareing said, “It is delicious. There is enough flavours here to work and marry things together.”

Monica Galletti said it was ‘too sweet’ for her however.

A resurgent Ben was positive after the judges’ reactions. He said, “I think I was taking a risk with the dish. All in all I was very happy with it.

“I don’t think I am going to please everyone all the time - but two out of three, it is not too bad.”

The end of the program saw Ben, up against five other professional chefs, find out he was one of the three to progress to the quarter finals.

He said, “I am massively proud of myself. I just keep going with my ideas and hopefully it works out.”

Keep a look out for Ben in the coming weeks on BBC Two at 8pm.

Sussex man to appear on Masterchef