Chelmsford vet lifts BBC Masterchef trophy

Neve Gordon-Farleigh,BBC News, Essex

Shine TV/BBC Brin Pirathapan holding the Masterchef winner's trophyShine TV/BBC

Brin Pirathapan says his cooking is inspired by his Sri Lankan heritage

A veterinary surgeon whose love of cooking is inspired by his Sri Lankan heritage has been crowned the 20th winner of BBC TV’s Masterchef.

Brin Pirathapan, 29, from Chelmsford, impressed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace to beat 57 others in this year’s amateur contest.

Mr Pirathapan cooked a winning menu of a seafood starter, a spiced venison main and a dessert of white chocolate and cardamom and saffron cremeux with a lime and chili sorbet.

“The show is one of the reasons I’m the cook I am today,” he said.

He was working as a veterinary surgeon in Bristol before entering the show, and said he had watched the show since he way a boy.

“The food I grew up with was never boring. Coming from a Tamil, Sri Lankan background, we had nice food on the table and it’s never bland,” he said.

“There was just something about this year where I thought if I didn’t apply I would probably just sit and watch it and regret that I didn’t. I just thought ‘bite the bullet… what’s the worst that could happen?’.”

‘The experience has been incredible’

The 29-year-old hopes to have a career in the food industry in the future.

“I’ve almost been given this incredible second chance to focus on a proper passion of mine and I’d love to take it forward. If I could see myself doing this full-time in the next year or so that would be great… my priority now is going to be food,” he said.

“I want food to take me all over the world and I feel like I’ve got so much more to learn.”

grey placeholderShine TV/BBC Brin Pirathapan cookingShine TV/BBC

Brin Pirathapan said he knew if he did not apply for the BBC One show this year, he would sit at home and “regret” it

After beating the two other finalists, Louise Lyons Macleod and Chris Willoughby, he said the win was for his parents.

“I’m a big mix of my background, my culture and all the opportunities my parents have given me. They’ve been incredible and I’ve done it for them as much as I’ve done it for myself,” he said.

“The experience itself has been incredible and to top it off with this is just the most amazing thing ever.”

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