MasterChef: Natalie Coleman wins with scotch egg dish
- 2 May 2013
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
A part-time DJ who was inspired in the kitchen by her late grandmother has won this year's MasterChef final.
Natalie Coleman won over the judges with a menu that included lobster and fennel, pork belly with scotch egg and vanilla chocolate panna cotta.
"It's a dream come true," said the 29-year-old, the third woman to win the show in nine years.
Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace said she was "destined for great things".
Over the past eight weeks, viewers of the BBC One show have seen Coleman, from Hackney in east London, battle through from 50 contestants to reach the final three.
The final show saw Coleman and defeated finalists Larkin Cen and Dale Williams - both from Cardiff - show off their talents in Italy, cooking in Florence and on the Amalfi Coast with rustic chef Mamma Agata.
The three finalists also endured the test of impressing four of the world's greatest chefs by preparing a three-course menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan.
The final task was to prepare a menu for the show's hosts.
According to Torode, Coleman "not only understands finery of great food but... cooks for the people, food that people want to eat".
"She makes people smile. She also has a great palate and understands flavour combinations.
"Natalie's got it. She is a very, very clever woman and her food is fantastic."
Wallace said he did not believe the winner was fully aware of her talent. "I love her food because it comes straight from the heart," he added.
Coleman said she had considered a career in catering when she was a teenager. "But then I went off the idea and wanted to be a PE teacher, then a firefighter," she said.
"But my mum said as I was good at maths, I should go and do something in finance. I'm quite good at what I do, but it's not what I love.
"This is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life," she continued. "It's like a fairy tale really, the girl from Hackney done good."
Coleman said her biggest challenge was preparing food for a selection of Bond girls. "It really stressed me out and sent me into a massive panic.
"Each round you learn something different about yourself and about food."