Tesco Real Food Family Cook Off - The Audition

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There are some very exciting things ahead of me... I'm going to be on a new TV show called Real Food Family Cook Off! Starting in only two days time - Tuesday 7.30pm on Channel 5 kicks off the first episode!

"The Real Food Family Cook Off is presented by rugby legend and food enthusiast Matt Dawson and Celebrity Masterchef winner Lisa Faulkner. Watch and see the 8 finalists cooking up some mouth-watering dishes that you can try at home, as they battle it out for some fantastic prizes." Tesco Real Food

If you read my previous post you already know about my application and how I made it to the top 40. The story continues here!

So the casting day finally came! I was told I would comprise of the following:

  1. A photoshoot (They didn't say while waving pans and wooden spoons around!)
  2. A short interview with the producers (Eek! This sounded a bit scary!)
  3. A short interview on camera with my team (Like the ones on X-factor when they say how much it means to them etc etc)
  4. Cooking the dish I had submitted in front of the cameras in 30 minutes while casually talking to Matt Dawson and Lisa Faulkner (Since I have always dreamed of being a TV chef I couldn't wait for this bit!)

It was a mixture of nerves and excitement as Rich, my mum and I made our way over to the famous Leiths Cookery School which was where the casting day was held. For some reason I got really nervous about what shoes I should wear and I took three pairs with me - a pair of wedges, a pair of nice sandals and for health and safety purposes, a pair of flat closed toe shoes. It was a good job my youngest son Daniel was with us as I could hide all my shoes in the bottom of the buggy. (Incase you were wondering, I went for the sandals after three changes!).

First up was the photoshoot. Our faces were plastered with powder before we were handed kitchen utensils and told to pose infront of the camera while the lovely photographer Patrick snapped away. It was loads of fun!

Next was the camera interviews. It's actually much harder than you think to do those little interview bits as you have to look at the researcher asking you the questions and not down the camera, and you have to answer the question including the question. It's easier said than done when you have a camera in your face and the pressure is on! Hannah did our camera interviews and she did a brilliant job and was very patient with us - thanks Hannah!

Next I was whisked away to the kitchen to be filmed making my Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala in 30 minutes in front of the camera. Then I was introduced to Matt Dawson who chatted to me while I washed rice and chopped up peppers. It's mad when you get introduced to a famous person. They say "This is Matt Dawson" and you don't know whether to pretend you don't know them and look surprised and be polite, or, as I probably did, lose your cool and say "Hi Matt!" excitedly before they have had a chance to finish. Matt was lovely and super professional on the camera. I chatted to him for what seemed like quite a long time, I even got to tell him all about Gourmet Mum!

Then the clock was set and we all started to cook! I made my Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala from memory in 30 minutes - including the rice and naan - infront of the camera. The time just flew and I loved it! I first met Lisa Faulkner while I was cooking. She was so sweet and helpful, she even helped arranged the coriander on top of my curry at the end when there was just a few moments left on the clock! She had a fabulous pair of yellow wedges on which I said how much I liked. She said something like "oh they're just a bargain from Peacocks" which showed how lovely and down to earth she is.

When the time was up, former TV chef and chief foodie Annie Stirk tasted everyone's dishes along with Matt and Lisa. My heart really raced as I watch the three of them tasting my curry. Annie wasn't allowed to say anything as she was judging, but Matt and Lisa said something nice to say about everyone's dishes. I looked along the row and every dish looked impressive. The competition looked tough!

Finally we had a short interview with the producers of the show. I was super nervous about this part but it was fine! They all put us at ease and it felt like an informal chat rather than an interview! Then it was time to go home and wait for the phone call, which they said would come by the end of the week.

Two days later it was nearly 8pm when the phone rang "Hello it's Emily from RDF television... I've got some good news..."

Yippee!! I'd made it to the final 8!!

Make sure you tune in to the first show of Real Food Family Cook Off on Tuesday September 20th at 7.30pm on Channel 5 to see how I get on!