A north-east amateur cook has brushed off his apron to compete in the latest season of the hit cookery show Masterchef.
Euan Walker, 29, a staff member from Robert Gordon University, will appear in tonight’s episode of the BBC cooking competition.
After beating thousands of applicants, he is one of 60 chefs featured this season, fighting to reach the final.
In his heat, Euan, from Edzell, is one of six amateur cooks competing to win their own Masterchef apron and move on to the next round.
Euan said: “I’ve been cooking for pretty much as long as I can remember. My mum would always task me and my brother with chopping stuff because it kept us busy and out of the way.
“I started building a proper interest in food when I did my first year of law at uni and then I was like ‘I don’t think this is for me’.
“I considered dropping out and going to be a cook at a summer camp and then coming back and doing a season as a chalet chef – just completely changing the direction I was going in.
“That fell through when instead of getting placed in the kitchen, I got placed as a camp counsellor. I just rolled with that direction instead.”
Years later, the student development and volunteering co-ordinator stumbled on the application for the show.
“I was literally just messing around on the internet and I went through a Buzzfeed article where it was like ‘you can apply now,’ and I just clicked the link and opened the application form.
“It was a fairly hefty application form. It took me a couple of sittings to get through it.
“I even stopped filling it out a couple of times because I was like ‘I won’t get on anyway, so what’s the point?’
“And then I kept getting emails saying: ‘hey, you’ve not finished this form’. And I thought fine, I’ll finish it.”
Euan successfully made it through the rigorous and secretive auditioning process to appear on the show.
He was able to keep his experience quiet until last Friday when he announced the news on social media.
He said: “(My family) are all absolutely blown away.
“They’ve been pretty amazed that I could keep a secret for this long and impressed that I even considered doing it.”
In tonight’s episode, the contestants’ first challenge is to cook a signature dish for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
He said: “They are both just genuinely lovely guys and they’re very supportive.
“They’re very aware that they’re working with amateur cooks so they’re very happy to give you nice comments and tips here and there where they feel fit.
“I’m definitely now in a position where I feel I want to push myself further with what I do.”