Hi, I'm Stuart! A few of you may recognise me (or the moustache at least...) from my stint on MasterChef UK 2016, and I am absolutely obsessed with food! If you share my love of all things culinary, then you should fit in just fine here...
As a scientist, food for me is all about experimentation - creating new recipes, eating out somewhere different, or even just buying a new ingredient I've never used before (let's not forget a love of gadgets too!) I'd love to share the results of my more successful experiments with you, and I love hearing from fellow foodies about their own delicious creations!
I grew up in a village in the South East of England with my family, all of whom were good cooks. Some of my earliest memories are of food, particularly apple and blackberry crumble using fruit from our garden. It wasn't until I left home for university (the first time around...) that I started cooking properly for myself, despite a love of Pot Noodles at the time. Early experiments were... interesting! I will never forget the infamous frozen mixed veg and smoked paprika incident. Over the years, through a lot of trial and error, travelling, plus reading a lot of cookery books, I learnt the basics of sauces, meats, fresh pasta, fish, and really started to experiment properly with the confidence that a firm footing in the classics gives you.
I moved to Sheffield in 2010 (for a second round at university) and stayed to this day, where I live with my partner Helen and our two cats, working day to day in the incredible world of DNA research. Sheffield has amazing food, and I found myself really inspired by the commitment to seasonal eating and local produce in so many of the restaurants here. I found that cooking with seasonal ingredients really helps you understand how flavours and ingredients work together, as it almost forces you to be creative with a limited set of flavours on hand.
I have always loved cooking for my friends and family, and they were very supportive of me entering MasterChef. I was thoroughly overwhelmed by the responses of the judges to my food throughout the whole process! Many people have asked if it put me off cooking - far from it! I am more passionate now than ever about good food, and hope to share some of that passion here with you!