FOR chef Ben Miller, cooking didn’t get tougher than taking part in TV’s Masterchef competition.
The 33-year-old head chef will appear on the BBC2 show Masterchef: The Professionals later this month, when viewers will find out if he can whip up heaven on a plate.
Ben, who is head chef at Indigo at the Ardington Hotel in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, will first appear on our screens on November 28, when he will go up against nine other professionals in the first round.
Ben, of Anchor Close, Shoreham Beach, said: “I didn’t particularly enjoy the first day, as I felt I had let myself down.
“You go into this massive kitchen and you’re given 40 minutes to cook a dish from a list of ingredients, but you don’t know where anything is.
“It was tough, but as it went on I started to get into it and enjoy it.”
Ben was entered into the show by his partner, Joanne Pirie, and he filmed the episodes this summer.
In the earliest stages, he cooked for presenter Gregg Wallace and chef Monica Galleti, but went on to prepare dishes for one of his idols, the legendary Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr.
He said: “He’s a true gentleman and cooking for him was the highlight of taking part for me.”
During the show, Ben cooked one of his favourite dishes – roast rack of Southdown lamb – although he said he does not tie himself down to one particular style of cooking.
In the past, he spent time cooking in Thailand and Australia, and likes to infuse the flavours of that part of the world into his dishes.
Ben, whose dad was the head chef at the Ritz in London and whose parents own Tottington Manor Hotel, started cooking at a young age.
Since then he has held various roles in restaurants across the UK, including a stint as senior sous chef at the Bath Spa Hotel.
He said: “Masterchef was a great experience, even though at first I wasn’t sure about it. If anything else came up on TV, I would consider entering it.”
Series four of Masterchef: The Professionals is on BBC2 every Monday to Thursday.