Northumberland woman progresses in MasterChef

Lorna Robertson
Lorna Robertson

Northumberland’s Lorna Robertson is proving herself to be one of the top contestants in this year’s MasterChef.

The 22-year-old, from Berwick, impressed judges once again in making it through last night’s quarter-final.

The challenge, set by restaurant critic Jay Rayner, was to cook a savoury dish that showcases aubergine or a dessert with honey as the star.

Lorna decided to make an organge blossom pistachio and honey frangipane tart topped with chopped figs with a salted pistachio ice cream, crystalised rose petals and honeycomb.

She admitted it was ‘quite terrifying’ to be cooking for Jay Rayner.

“He’s someone who obviously knows a lot about food and isn’t afraid to tell you exactly what he thinks so it’s a daunting task.”

However, she had nothing to worry about as she presented a beautifully prepared dish.

Jay Rayner said: “It looks gorgeous, it is gorgeous and it’s a brilliant piece of technical cookery as well and I can taste the honey so it’s delivered on all the things I was hoping for. I love it.”

Presenters John Torode and Gregg Wallace were equally impressed.

John said: “You made your own pastry, you made your own ice cream, you’ve done your own frangipane, yiu’ve done your own honeycomb and then put it all on a plate and taken real care. I think that’s just delicious.”

Gregg said it was ‘absolutely delightful’ and ‘very sophisticated’.

Lorna, who describes herself as a creative cook who doesn’t mind experimenting with different flavouts, was delighted with the comments.

“To get feedback like that from the three judges was just out of this world, amazing, such an incredible feeling,” she said.

Discussing who should progress to the next stage, John said Lorna had been ‘star cook of the day’.

Gregg added: “That young lady is cementing her reputation as a very strong contestant.”

Lorna said she ‘completely ecstatic’ and ‘elated’ to be through to the next round, which will be shown on BBC One next week.

In her first round, shown on Wednesday night, she made a faultless prawn linguine to get through.

Then she had to cook two courses for three former winners – Peter Bayless, James Nathan and Mat Follas.

Her venison carpaccio starter and roast grouse main was comfortably good enough to make it through.

Lorna, a former local newspaper reporter, now lives in London where she works for a foodie PR firm.