By Heather Wood
Representing Wales, Jordan Brice, a Swansea Maths undergraduate made the finale of a national cooking competition in early February. Jordan and four other students were picked out of thousands of entries to be placed in the finale and given the opportunity to cook for the judges of the show. Judges including big names such as Sam Stern and Laura James tasted a lasagne cooked by each of the contestants. The prize for becoming the champion of this competition was £1,000 worth of food vouchers. Jordan lost against some great talents, but walked away with £250 in food vouchers, his own apron and a great experience.
After seeing the competition advertised in the student newsletter, Jordan was inspired to submit his version of a healthy spaghetti carbonara via Instagram using only three ingredients. Jordan states how he “didn’t expect to anything to come back” and when receiving a comment on his Instagram
post from the competition Jordan stated how he assumed it was spam. Eventually a month later, the competition asked for an additional recipe which led Jordan to his place in the final. His second recipe guidelines asked for a meal serving four that was under £15 and healthy. Jordan served a ‘Steak Ragu’ which was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe that came under the budget. His final recipe was to present a healthy and low value lasagne from scratch using the ingredients provided. Jordan commented on how the judges were impressed by his use of cumin and nutmeg in the white sauce. Jordan adds how he was surprised by this due it being a normal occurrence when cooking at home.
During his visit Jordan reminisces how he met one of his favourite authors whilst at the competition, Charlotte Pike who was serving as a judge to the competition. Looking away whilst looking slightly embarrassed Jordan admits how it wasn’t until he was at home and looking at her cooking book that he realised who she was. The competition was held at Michael Roux Jr. Cooking school and Jordan gleefully adds how he managed to get gain entry to the set of Saturday Morning Kitchen that was situated at the cooking school.
One final question I asked Jordan was: did he learn any new techniques from the competition. He mentioned how it altered his use of salt whilst cooking, and how salt can help blend the seasoning together. Ultimately how salt doesn’t necessarily mean salty. He also learnt the value of using higher priced rather than basic ingredients, the stark difference of Tesco basic and a high end brand. We finished the interview discussing the next steps for Jordan and what he may try next and mentions how he applied to Gordon Ramsay’s new show that morning.
Jordan Brice reminds us all of you never know what might happen if you go for those opportunities.