Fake it, til you make it
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Britain’s Best Dish

This was a funny show, I had not really wanted to do it, but the production guy really chased me hard. Okay so yes it did feel really good to be wanted, but I always had this feeling that this was one show that I should leave and walk away from. And there was a real good reason to feel so strongly about it. I had had a moment, a BS moment. I had sort of conned my way onto the show, because the dish I had put up as my signature dish was something I have never cooked before, and what make it worse was that I had never even made in component parts before either.

But as one of my motto in life goes, “fake it til you make it” and this was a real faking it moment.

I had been approached at a work trade show, and asked what my signature dish was and could I cook. Of course I said yes, and my dish was Roquefort Ice Cream with bits and bobs. And no I have no idea where or how that got into my head. I had even gone as far as making the bits and bobs quite complex, injecting grapes with wine, wine infused biscuits, I was making this madder every time I opened my mouth. And that was it I was in and these people wanted me.

The hardest aspect of all this was trying to write it all down, I could not make it as I did not have an ice cream maker, I had no idea on the times, the quantities, or most importantly, what it would taste like once I had made it. But they wanted it down on paper and so I had to do it. That a fun few hours as I had to just simply wing it.

The day of filming came and I headed off to the studio, full of confidence, after all what was the worst that could happen. I arrived at the studio, met the other contestants, the production team, and kicked back, chilled out and waited for it all to happen. One thing that makes telly quite weird is all the waiting around, they want to control everything and so they get you there very early and put you in a room and then that’s it, waiting time. It gets padded out with trips to wardrobe and make-up, but it still always involves a lot of waiting time. One reason for that is to build the nerves of the contestants, I think it is to build the tension.

The cooking when it finally started was also quite strange, because of the need for filming the special moments, we all had to start at different times, we all had to cook to very set times, and so if something went wrong it was very hard to get back in sync. And then they asked me if I could put my ice cream maker on the floor as it was too loud for when they were talking to other contestants. I am there on my knees trying to taste this ice cream I have never before made. I messed up the biscuits because I just put all the ingredients in a bowl and tried to mix it, and therefore they became too runny, it was one mess up after another. But I was loving it, it was a brilliant few hours of my life.

In the end the judges thought it was good, one Michelin Starred chef called it “a technical tour de force”, and he was the one who had not even liked the idea in the first place. I did not win, but I really did not care, I had loved it, the experience had given me so much, I was happy how this made up dish had come together in the end, I was pleased for the person who beat me because I could clearly see what it meant to her to do so, and the people on the day were just fab, really friendly.  If this show ever happens again I think I would like to do it, but next time round I think I may have to take it a little more seriously.
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