TV: MasterChef 2013: Rukmini Iyer

TV: MasterChef 2013: Rukmini Iyer
Rukmini Iyer. Image: courtesy of Shine TV

Rukmini Iyer. Image: courtesy of Shine TV

And then there were twelve. The remaining MasterChef contestants are stepping up their game this week for Knockout week, trying to win just one of four places in next week’s semi-finals. Rukmini Iyer talks to Lucy Holden.

Who are you looking over your saucepan at in the MasterChef kitchen?

Definitely Ollie – his food is so creative and ambitious – he’s definitely my main competition.

You’ve cooked some scrumptious things yourself…

It was really hard deciding what to cook, but I tried to think about the kind of flavour combinations that I like best; like chocolate and passion fruit, and peach and lavender, and tried to come up with dishes that would look beautiful, taste delicious, use enough processes, and, most importantly, be the kind of food that I’d want to eat in a restaurant. I wanted to push myself and produce dishes that were not just home cooking. 

No beans on toast then. Is the pressure really as bad as they say? It sounds like Jaws in there…

The first day was very stressful but by the second day I think I’d settled in a lot better – I took lots of deep breaths, tried to just focus on the food and ignore the cameras, but having said that, it didn’t always work!

Wallace and Torode – what’s the story? Peter and Dudley, or Mark and Lard?

They are so lovely! They were really encouraging, and really wanted us to do well. My favourite moments were when Gregg danced at my cooking and John said he loved a dish of mine so much that he’d eat it raw. They did tear apart my awful pancake and beetroot cubes on the palate test though…

The dream became a nightmare when…

We had to do the palate test, hands down. I had a complete blank for about 15 minutes before I could get my act together. Though the most stressful day was definitely the audition day – my train from Peterborough to the audition in Birmingham was cancelled and my Mum had to step in and drive me all the way there. Then an hour into the journey we realised I’d left something crucial behind – this homemade elderflower cordial in its ‘Drink Me’ bottle that I was going to serve with a strawberry and elderflower fraisier and stripey lemon and elderflower jellies (image below) – and we had to drive all the way back to get it. Still, it was upwards from there! 

And you gave up a career in law for this? Wallace thinks you’ll be broke…

There’s no money in something when your heart’s not in it. I don’t think I ever enjoyed the law, so giving it up wasn’t really a difficult decision to make. I started my food blog (Fabric Frocks Food) last April, and realised after a couple of months that photographing food, writing recipes and cooking were all far more fulfilling than my day job. Luckily my parents were really supportive, and all my friends thought I should have switched to cooking years ago, so it’s been a seamless transition. 

The future’s bright, the future’s…?

Definitely with food. I’ve been working with some amazing food photographers, Toby Scott in London and Marc Millar in Edinburgh, and the experience has helped me learn about food styling and props – how to make my photographs as professional as possible. At the moment I’m torn between recipe writing and testing for foodie magazines and books, and wanting to train at a really brilliant restaurant and seeing where that takes me. I think I’ll have to try both and find out…

Any juicy details about this week’s Knockout shows?

Ooh, I can’t give too much away! But apparently people in the know think that next Thursday’s episode will be very funny…

Rukmini will next be on MasterChef on Thursday 4th April 2013, BBC One, 8pm.

Check out Rukmini’s recipes and photography at http://missminifer.tumblr.com/

Rukmini in the MasterChef studio. Image: courtesy of Shine TV

Rukmini in the MasterChef studio. Image: courtesy of Shine TV

Rukmini's strawberry and elderflower fraisier on a popping candy shortbread base. Image: Rukmini Iyer

Rukmini’s strawberry and elderflower fraisier on a popping candy shortbread base. Image: Rukmini Iyer

Rukmini's stripey strawberry, lemon & elderflower jellies set into lemon quarters. Image: Rukmini Iyer

Rukmini’s stripey strawberry, lemon & elderflower jellies set into lemon quarters. Image: Rukmini Iyer

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked. *