Food & Drink Muse

Come Dine with York

Five students. One winner. Lucie Parker tells us what they brought to the table.

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Our festive themed Come Dine With Me proved to be a scrumptious success. Candles and the aroma of mulled wine provided a cosy atmosphere as the guests arrived with their ingredients in hope of achieving culinary victory. Frantically sharing the kitchen, the competitors carefully prepared their meals, chopping and slicing whilst being interrogated on their dishes.

With modest replies yet competitive undertones, the air was pregnant with expectation for the evening ahead.

On waiting for Andy Adenmosun to choose suitable attire for the evening, the other four guests started the meal with a beautifully presented bowl of parsnip and hazelnut soup, courtesy of Magnus Malvany. It received contentious reviews, including a quip from Jonjo Lowe for being 'more of a spread than a soup', to which Magnus dryly retorted that he 'was aiming for a porridge-like texture'.

As the wine flowed, it was underdog Amy Goodfellow's chance to showcase her culinary skills. To the surprise of the other guests, she presented delicate brie and cranberry parcels which rested on a rocket and pomegranate salad. Alice Shaw-Ingham said, on arriving wearing a 'santa bikini' over the top of her clothes in true Christmas style, 'I really wasn't expecting Amy's parcels to be edible at all, but they were delicious!'

"This is more of a spread than a soup."

"Erm, yes. I was aiming for porridge-like texture..."

Jonjo certainly impressed the guests with his chicken and plum sauce served with egg-fried rice. Despite the lack of festivity, this exquisite dish heightened the standards of the competition, with everyone in agreement that 'it was better than a Chinese takeaway'. Well you would hope so...

The third main served was Andy's fantastic effort: a shoulder of lamb with mint, rosemary and orange-zest. No doubt the most extravagant dish of the evening, positive comments about the complexity of the flavours and richness of the sauce flooded the table. After another bottle of red wine, the contenders awaited everybody's favourite course, the dessert.

Alice's 'cookie, coffee and cream delight' inspired friendly laughter throughout the room as she unveiled her interestingly shaped white cake. However, after just one mouthful all the guests agreed that one should never 'judge a book by its cover' due to her pudding being 'very, very yummy.'

With stomachs being fit to burst, each of the guests was asked to privately score their opponents out of ten, taking into consideration presentation, creativity and taste. With an outstanding thirty-two out of forty, Andy Adenmosun became the first winner of the Nouse's Come Dine With Me. Runner-up was Jonjo Lowe trailing behind by just one point with a score of thirty-one.

The Interview

So Andy, having taken Barbican Road by storm with your winning lamb dish, can you sum up your victorious cooking style in 3 words?

Flavoursome, complicated, and meticulous.

What are your top 3 ingredients to cook with?

If I said garlic my mum would be upset, she hates it. I always use herbes de Provence with everything, chillies are a great way of adding flavour, and lamb is my favourite meat because it's so tender and rich.

What are the inspirations behind your cooking?

I first started experimenting in the kitchen when I was around 12. I loved the fact I was venturing into this unknown world, and testing out combinations of flavours was sparked by this curiosity.

Your best culinary masterpiece?

I'd have to say my BBQ's. I do them during the winter as well. There's nothing better than a hot sausage on a cold night!

What's the hardest dish you've cooked?

Definitely Beef Wellington, you have to get the beef right without being able to check it.

To set up the perfect kitchen environment before cooking, what would you wear and what music would you have playing?

I'd get pretty hot if I cooked in my favourite robe, so I'll go for my long silk gown whilst listening to deep house.

If you had to cook a nice meal in 30 minutes, what would you cook?

I'd go for my king prawn stir fry dish - it only takes 15.

What's the most outrageous animal you've eaten?

Probably a cow foot, or goat. Both equally disgusting.

Name your biggest cooking disaster.

I once cooked an inedible Thai curry which was unbelievably spicy. Noses were dripping, eyes were running, everybody had to give up eating it in the end!

And finally, any improvements you'd make to your cooking in the future?

I think simplicity is the sign of a good cook.

Check out Andy's recipe for roast lamb here.

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