Tesco Real Food Family Cook Off - The FINAL!

Yikes, we had actually got through to the final of Tesco Real Food Family Cook Off. It had been weeks of hard work, refining recipes, practicing recipes, filming the first heat and the semi final, and now it was all coming to an end.

We travelled to Kensington Gardens again where 'Gourmet K' would take on 'Chillies Angels' headed up by Banita, sister Reena and cousin Randeep in the final. I was so touched that so many friends and family make the effort to travel to London to support us. It was the first time we would be on the 'blue' side of the kitchen, so we hung up our red t-shirts and wore blue aprons that day.

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Simon Rimmer was the guest judge alongside Ainsley this time. The pressure was really on to impress. I felt really excited but at the same time really nevous.

The first round was 'Your take on shepherds pie'. For me there was only one recipe I could submit for this catagory, Izzy Skye Pie which is an easy cottage pie recipe from my website which I named after my friend Laura's little girl, Isabella Skye, who was born last year. This pie is designed to smuggle veg into fussy toddlers, and it usually works! I certainly wouldn't serve it to Simon and Ainsley if they came round for dinner but at the end of the first round we were in the lead by one point. At the same time the scores were given my dad turned up - he was working that day but managed to get someone to cover for him. For me it was a double celebration at that point!

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The final catagory was 'The ultimate Sunday lunch for more than four'. For the first time, the three of us would be cooking in the kitchen together. We made Mediterranean-style Sunday lunch which was a feast of pancetta-wrapped chicken stuffed with goats cheese, garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, garlic ciabatta and roast butternut squash salad with pine nuts. Sadly, Banita's Ultimate Thali scored two points higher than ours, which meant we lost the competition by one point and came second.

When the initial disappointment had worn off, I actually decided that we had done brilliantly, and that the likes of JLS and Olly Murs were doing OK even though they had come second! To be perfectly honest, I felt like celebrating, and we did, because we had been given a brilliant opportunity, met some inspiring people, and had a wonderful experince. So, please forgive the oscar like-ness of this post, but there are some people which I really need to thank!

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  • Team 'Gourmet K' - Rich and my mum, who worked so so hard and supported me throughout everything.
  • Friends and family who supported us - dad, Francisca, nana, Graham, Lisca, Caroline, Michelle, Jacqui, Mike, Jaime, Ruth, Hannah, Lily, Paul, Sarah, Nadia, Anna, Ceri, Steve, Sam, Paola, Del - thank you all so very much for coming to watch us in action!
  • Special thanks to my father in law Graham and his wife Lisca. Graham wrote the most incredible chants to cheer us on which unfortuntely didn't make the final cut, but they very much encouraged us! Lisca made the most incredible 'Gourmet K' banner on her sewing machine.
  • Baby sitters - Vasti, Emma, Becky, Nicky, Frankie and Hayley who looked after our boys Joshua and Daniel while we were filming. This is such an important job and I am so grateful.
  • Everyone on the production team - Rachel Barrie, you are such a sweetie and we love you. Emily, you were fantastic and patient when we did our vox pops and brought the best out of us. Martin Barry - you made us laugh so much and were very patient sorting out our guests. Olly - thanks for all your help and enjoy being a daddy! Hannah - thanks for being so helpful on set and when we filmed in Tesco.
  • Annie Stirk and her team, Ella, Sam, Johhny and Alan - Huge thank you for your help and advice get the recipes refined for the show. Thanks for your patience when changing things last minuite, for teaching us the tricks of the trade and for technical support with induction hobs!
  • Lisa Faulkner - thanks for your kind words of encouragment which I will never forget, you are truly an inspiring lady.
  • Matt Dawson - it was so great to meet you. You are really great at what you do and really bring out the best in people.
  • Damien Bray - thanks for bring the show here! You are a great guy always with a smile and it was great to meet you!
  • All the other contestants - I was so lucky to meet you all and to still be in touch with some of you. Thank you!

You can watch the final if you missed it.