Celebrity Best Home Cook Winner announced

BBC One’s first Celebrity Best Home Cook came to conclusion this evening, in an incredibly tense final episode which saw the competition format turned upside down

"It’s a great honour to win. It’s for my kids, who I practiced on for years and years, and for my Mum, who taught me to cook” — Ed Balls



The three finalists - Rachel Johnson, Tom Read Wilson and Ed Balls - battled it out in a bid to earn the title Celebrity Best Home Cook and take home the golden spoon trophy. With the challenges upturned, the finalists competed in judge Chris Bavin’s notorious Rustle Up round first, where, in an added twist, the contestants learned that whoever cooked the best dish would go straight through to the final (Mary Berry’s Ultimate) the following day.

That left the remaining two cooks to impress in Angela’s Eliminator, where one cook would go through to Mary’s Ultimate and one would leave the competition.

For the Rustle Up, the finalists were asked to prepare a butternut squash dish without a recipe, and limited to the few larder ingredients provided for them. Rachel made a Thai coconut lemongrass curry, Tom opted for a sweet butternut squash pie and Ed made a Thai butternut squash and courgette curry with a side salad and rice.

It was down to Chris to deliver the judges’ news, sending Ed straight into Mary’s Ultimate final round the following day. Rachel and Tom were thrown straight into Angela’s Eliminator, where they had to make Croque en Bouche from scratch. This proved to be a stressful challenge and the judges' blind tasting resulted in Rachel leaving the competition.

“I got as far as I could have gone I think,” Rachel said, adding: “Now I’ve come third in this competition, there’s even a chance that my husband won’t feel the need to cover everything I make with one of his ‘take the taste away’ sauces, so that’s another great result.”

The next day the two finalists returned to go head to head in Mary’s Ultimate and final Challenge of the series - to make a very special, ultimate picnic for the final judging panel. Tom made mini salmon asparagus quiches, chicken liver pate with gruyere cheese scones and mini chocolate orange cakes whilst Ed prepared a crab and samphire tart, herby lamb cutlets, chargrilled broccoli and asparagus with a banana bread and cream cheese frosting.

Whilst the judges deliberated following this intensely contested round, all of the Celebrity Best Home Cook contestants returned to the kitchen in support of the finalists before Mary Berry announced Ed Balls the winner of the first Celebrity Best Home Cook.

Ed, who was commended throughout the series for his range of cooking skills and ability to think of recipes on his feet, said: “It’s a great honour to win, it’s for my kids who I practiced on for years and years and for my Mum who taught me to cook.”

Runner up Tom said: “Truthfully this is the best possible outcome. I’m so proud of Ed, he’s a chum, he’s a culinary wizard.”

On receiving the golden spoon trophy from judges Mary Berry, Angela Hartnett, Chris Bavin and host Claudia Winkleman, Ed added: ”Cooking for me is what family is all about, and hopefully there’ll be lots of mums and dads, some who cook and some who don’t, who’ll think, I can have a go at that too.”

Speaking after Ed’s win, Chris Bavin said: “They both cooked their socks off and I think saved the very best for the final.”

Angela Hartnett said: “I loved Ed’s lamb and his banana bread was brilliant!”

Mary Berry gave the final thoughts: “Ed is a worthy winner, he put his heart and soul into the final, he cooks for his family every day and is a truly brilliant home cook.”

The final of Celebrity Best Home Cook was on BBC One, Wednesday 17 February at 9pm and on BBC iPlayer.

Source BBC One

February 18, 2021 3:50am ET by BBC One  


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