Haltwhistle chef Daniel Graham in final three of MasterChef
Oct 19 2009 by Katy Simpson, The Journal
A MASTERCHEF finalist from Northumberland has proved he has the recipe for success.
Daniel Graham, 27, of Haltwhistle, is one of only three contestants remaining in the BBC cookery show MasterChef: The Professionals.
Double Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux and judge Gregg Wallace are on the hunt for a young chef who wants to make it to the top of the culinary world.
And Daniel, who previously worked at Northumberland’s Matfen Hall Hotel, has fought off competition from some of the country’s top rising stars to make it to the last week of the series.
The first episode of the final week will be broadcast tonight, when the contestants will be creating pastry in the world’s only Michelin-starred restaurant to serve high tea – Sketch, in London.
Daniel told The Journal how it felt to work under the watchful eye of his hero, Michel Roux.
He said: “It was fantastic. I don’t think I have ever been put under so much pressure in my life. But if I was given the chance, I would do it all over again. I loved every minute of it.
“I got to cook for one of my heroes. When I worked at Slaley Hall, when I was 19, Albert Roux used to come in for a private tasting experience.
“When Michel Roux’s book came out, we were each given a copy, and it was the first cook book I owned. To cook for him myself was amazing.”
Daniel studied at Haydon Bridge High School before moving to Carlisle to complete an NVQ in food preparations.
He then returned to Northumberland to work at Slaley Hall, followed by a stint at Langley Castle Hotel, and then a move to Matfen Hall Hotel.