Kirsty Pulsakowska from Reading crowned Kenwood Chef 2012 and
walks away with over £4k worth of prizes
Kenwood has crowned Kirsty Pulsakowska from Reading the ‘Kenwood Chef 2012’ at the inaugural ‘from Disaster Chef to Kenwood Chef’ competition final. The event was the climax of a nationwide search which saw Kenwood look for the country’s most hopeless cooks, with the aim of transforming their culinary skills from inedible to incredible.
In a fiercely battled live final, the four judges, including Silent Witness actress and self-confessed Disaster Chef, Emilia Fox, watched closely as the nervous finalists whipped up three courses from an unseen menu at the Kenwood Academy at their HQ in Havant.
Self-confessed Disaster Chef, Kirsty, was nominated by her mum as she thinks now is the time for Kirsty to conquer her kitchen phobia. Albeit enthusiastic, she has had numerous kitchen disasters in the last few years, which include not only her burning a salad, but also attempting to cook steak and kidney pie with steak flavoured crisps and kidney beans.
Devised by Emilia’s co-judges, Kenwood’s Development Chef; Martin Johns, the SORTED Chef; Ben Ebbrell and Head Chef and Director from the Fat Olives restaurant in Emsworth; Lawrence Murphy, the three course menu was designed to test the 12 finalists on their newly acquired skills. A starter of asparagus soup kicked things off, followed by a quiche of their choice – to test their confidence and skills in pairing ingredients. The menu was wrapped up with a decadent chocolate fondant.
The judges were impressed with the level of skills the finalists demonstrated and how far they had come in the competition. Emilia Fox commented: “All 12 chefs have learnt a wide variety of new cooking skills and recipes and feel so much more kitchen confident. In just three months, with a little help from Kenwood’s experts, we’ve all gone from making food that’s pretty much the pits to something that might be served at The Ritz.”
On the day it was Kirsty who impressed the judges the most with the quality and presentation of all three dishes. Kirsty herself says, “I’m over the moon that I have won the Disaster Chef competition to become the Kenwood Chef 2012, it’s a dream come true! Not only have I learnt loads of new cooking skills and recipes but I’ve got a confidence in the kitchen that I’ve never had before. I know my family will want to thank Kenwood for turning me from kitchen zero to culinary hero in just three months.”
Kirsty walks away with not only the title of Kenwood Chef 2012, but a host of prizes worth over £4,000 including a kitchen makeover, an advanced cookery course and plenty of new Kenwood products to keep up her new found culinary skills.
Martin Johns said of the competition, “At Kenwood we understand the importance of home cooking – whether it’s pulling together a quick healthy breakfast for one or preparing a meal for those you love. But not everyone has an abundance of skills in the kitchen and that’s why we launched our Disaster Chef competition – it’s great to see all 12 of our Disaster Chefs have more confidence now – they’ve come a long way in the last three months.”
But the runners up need not be disappointed. They all have an iconic Kenwood Chef, as well as a trophy to remind them of their experience, along with a fresh culinary confidence in the kitchen to take home and impress their friends and family.
Read Kirsty's and all the finalists' blogs or try out the recipes yourself by following the tutorial videos