Spudding city chef lands TV advert role

IT would be a dream for most budding cooks to prepare a dish for a top TV chef, but not many would serve up cheesy potatoes on national TV.

Ratho's Fiona Sutherland, however, got to do exactly that after reaching the final of the Master Spud competition.

She is one of five finalists who star in a potato advert alongside Jean-Christophe Novelli. The TV campaign runs until tomorrow and shows each of the finalists preparing their dishes, which are then sampled by the Michelin-starred chef.

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Mrs Sutherland, 57, a BA manager, was selected from hundreds of entrants to the competition, run by the Potato Council, to find Britain's best potato recipe.

After submitting her Speedy, Cheesy Bake the mother-of-two was selected as one of 25 shortlisters and proceeded to cook live on stage with Novelli to claim a place in the final.

Mrs Sutherland said: "I was really pleased to make it through to the final. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Jean-Christophe Novelli is a lovely, charming man and we had a great time.

"I was delighted that my dish was chosen for the final and it was exciting going down to his cook school, which is where the advert was filmed."

The advert aired for the first time on Sunday night, with one of the other finalists crowned Master Spud 2011. It will be repeated today and tomorrow.

Mr Novelli said: "This competition offers budding chefs, like Fiona, the chance to not only show off their cooking skills to the nation, but also to hopefully inspire even more people to cook with potatoes."

SPEEDY CHEESY BAKE

FIONA'S WINNING RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

2 large baking potatoes

1/2 pint milk

3 cloves garlic peeled

1 tbspn grated parmesan

1 tbspn grated red Leicester

Salt and pepper

Peel the potatoes and slice very thinly in a processor or mandolin. Meanwhile, have the milk heating up in a saucepan.

Add the whole peeled garlic to the milk and season with salt and pepper.

Put the potatoes in the simmering milk and cook for eight minutes, the milk will thicken because of the starch, so stir frequently.

Decant to a small, shallow roasting tin, having removed the garlic.

Place in the oven for ten minutes - this finishes the cooking and sets the mix.

Remove from the oven, top with the cheese and grill for a couple of minutes.

Serve on its own or with some cold cuts - it's great with ham.