Tesco Real Food Family Cook Off - First Heat

So came the day of filming the first heat....! Rich, my mum and I headed down to Portsmouth to film the first episode which was dubbed 'battle of the bloggers' as my opponent Meg Stone (or team 'Waterloo'), also writes a blog at My Jewish Home. Meg and her team were lovely and we had lots to chat about when we were waiting around between takes.


We met Matt Dawson and Lisa Faulkner again - they were so lovely and they remembered me, and my Chicken Tikka Masala! Gourmet K (which was our team name) were on the red team, so we and our supporters in the audience wore customised red tops.

Rich and I were in the first cook off making Fabulous Fish Pie. We'd practiced many times at homes timing ourselves, and the recipe had been given the thumbs up by chief foodie Annie Stirk so we more excited than nervous. It was a scorching hot day and the fish seemed to be cooking on the work surfaces while we waited for the countdown. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, LETS COOK OFF!


Cooking on the induction hob for the first time was more trouble than I would have thought. They are pretty high tech and if a pan is wet underneath or if it gets moved too much, it will turn itself off. This happened to our sweet potatoes, which seemed to take forever to come to the boil, and I accidentally used a small pan for my fish... agghhh! Nerves got the better of us, we made a few silly mistakes, the prawns were overcooked, we didn't have time to pop the pie in the oven....and then time ran out. Judge Ainsley Harriot and guest judge Anton du Beke scored us 11 for our Fabulous Fish Pie, which was just one point more than Meg's Bloody Mary Gnocchi, which looked and smelled delicious.


Then it was time for the second cook off. Mum my and I were making the Portuguese classic Piri Piri Chicken with Chips and Salad. Determined not to make the same mistakes again we had a quick hob lesson from chef Alan from Annie's team. The second cook off went far smoother than the first, I even got the chance to tell Ainsley Harriot the story of when I played Ready Steady Cook at uni (thankfully, that was cut). My chips were crispy and stacked beautifully, the chicken tender, the sauce tasty it looked lovely on the plate. I thought I might have been having a strange dream as I watched Anton du Beke dunk one of my chips into the sauce during the judging. We scored equal to Meg's Tuna Steak with Wasabi Mash which took us into the next round by just one point.

I was delighted that Gourmet K had got through to the semi-final but was gutted for lovely Meg, who had a bit of a 'mare with her mash.

Read about our adventures in the semi-final.

Watch the first heat.