Meet our 10 contestants who will take part in this year’s Disaster Chef Competition. Follow their progress over the next few weeks as they transform their culinary skills with the help of weekly recipe tutorials from the competition judges and their very own Kenwood Chef Sense.
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Nicola Reading, from Scarborough
Nursery school owner and mum of two, Nicola, manages to whip up concoctions that even make her dog turn its nose up. Her most momentous kitchen disaster came in the form of her daughter’s birthday cake, where, having run out of butter, she suddenly had a healthy moment of madness – why not use avocado instead?! Needless to say, the resulting flavourless green Frisbee bore little resemblance, in neither taste nor appearance, to the birthday cake she’d envisaged. Luckily, Nicola’s daughter has now forgiven her, but she hopes Kenwood can offer her a helping hand and teach her a skill or two when it comes to the kitchen.
Krystle Hillier, from Devizes
When she’s not setting fire to spaghetti or leaving bouts of food poisoning in her wake, Krystle works as a nurse and is a busy mum of three. From overcooking seafood to such an extent that it bounced, to scorching chocolate on the hob so badly that the smell lingered in her home for months on end, Krystle was in need of a culinary intervention. Entering the competition in a plea for help, Krystle appeals to Kenwood to put a stop to her long string of culinary catastrophes.
Sally Chadwick, from Coventry
From rubber pancakes and cardboard cookies to cremated oven dishes and suspicious looking chocolate fondants, Sally, stay at home mum of two, is on a quest to don her apron and become a true culinary supermum. Although brutally honest and openly critical, her kids remain loyal fans whatever the dish of the day. However, dinner party guests are another matter. Sally’s most notable dinner party disaster was her paleo-friendly chocolate cheesecake, which wouldn’t make it onto any colour chart and could only be described as a ‘grainy sludge’ – as it turns out, coconut cream, avocado, dates and maple syrup don’t make the best combination. Sally hopes the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition will help impress her kids and save her from further dinner party embarrassment.
Stuart Fish, from Bristol
Stu works to protect our environment for his day job, but it seems it’s his family’s taste buds that are in real jeopardy. When it comes to the kitchen, the father of two has all the enthusiasm, but none of the skill; as demonstrated by his recent baking attempt. Realising key ingredients were missing for his cake recipe, Stuart decided to substitute sugar with herbs, naturally, and mixed in dried coffee granules for flavour. And for added texture, he thought it only reasonable to add dried pasta. Stu, known for regularly dying his moustache an array of vibrant colours, has even managed to burn jelly! He hopes the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition will encourage his family to lift his ban from the kitchen.
Kenny Beatson, from Armadale in Scotland
Kenny, father of five with another on the way, is a full-time Carer and Children’s Entertainer but after his latest culinary disaster, he should probably add ‘Fire Juggler’ to his titles. Kenny had hoped to impress his Gran with the perfect Sunday lunch. However, after over-zealously dousing his mini Yorkshire puddings in oil and carefully placing them in the hot oven, the entire oven erupted into flames! The Roast Beef was burnt to a cinder and after putting out the fire a takeaway was needed to save the day. Although his Gran graciously thanked him for a wonderful night’s entertainment, Kenny hopes the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition will put an end to his dependency on last minute takeaways.
Lola Skinner, from Amersham
Despite her best intentions and her keen passion for food, lifestyle blogger and mum of two, Lola, is currently known amongst her family as “the one who can’t cook”. Keen to shed this title and move away from her staple of rice and chicken, Lola hopes the Disaster Chef Competition can help her wow her family with a variety of new dishes. Her past disasters, including curdled cheesecakes and sunken birthday cakes, have held Lola back from trying new things, but with a helping hand from Kenwood, she hopes to regain her confidence in the kitchen.
Aisling Oslizlok, from London
When it comes to the kitchen, healthcare worker Aisling describes herself as having “all the gear and no idea”. With a kitchen kitted out with all the latest appliances and equipment, she has everything she needs to become a dab hand in the kitchen; however, attention to detail with recipes is Aisling’s undoing. She once mistook flour for salt when baking a Chocolate Orange Cake for friends, resulting in a bizarre concoction with a taste resembling The Dead Sea. Aisling’s goal in entering Disaster Chef is to improve her overall cooking and baking skills and become someone with ‘all the gear and some idea’.
Mohammed Abdul Rahman, from Harrow
For Mohammed, a kitchen disaster tends to occur every time he enters his kitchen. A recent example includes Mohammed’s chicken in a honey and Soy sauce marinade. With the chicken looking anaemic in the frying pan, Mohammed decided to empty the bottle of Soy sauce onto the chicken. The final meal looked like the chicken had been caught up in an oil slick and somehow managed to taste even worse than it looked. Mohammed trained as a pharmacist and became a father in 2015. It was the birth of his first child that was Mohammed’s watershed moment, making him decided to enter Disaster Chef so he can learn to cook edible meals for his wife and new born baby.
Josie Parker, from Liverpool
PHD Student Josie needs desperate help in the kitchen. Josie’s kitchen calamities include putting her cakes under a grill and confusing teaspoons of spice with tablespoons. Once, in an effort to impress a prospective housemate who she was eager to fill her vacant room, Josie decided to try her hand at baking some homemade baguettes and fill the house with the enticing, delicious smell of freshly baked bread. Josie had read that a tray of water in the base of the oven would create steam to give a better crust. What she had not accounted for was the sharp temperature changes between boiling water, tray, and hot oven, causing the glass tray to shatter into pieces with an almighty crack and the consequent flood of hot water. The prospective housemate was taken aback by the sound and sight of a flooded kitchen covered in shattered glass and opted not to move in. Josie entered the Disaster Chef competition to improve her culinary skills and ensure she can be more reliant on her baking skills in future.
Cher McCarthy, from Basingstoke
“Make a lemon drizzle cake” Cher’s friend told her; “you can’t go wrong with a lemon drizzle cake” – unfortunately words can’t explain how wrong Cher’s attempt at a lemon drizzle went. Each year Cher tries her hand at baking for the Macmillan charity Coffee Morning; however, each year, Cher regrettably ends up relying on a shop bought cake as a back-up. Cher works in accounts and lives in Basingstoke with her husband, the same husband who questioned why she was icing balls of stuffing when seeing her attempt at miniature coffee and walnut cakes. She hopes the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition can transform her bakes from tragedy to triumph.