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Masterchef finalist Jamie Patterson motivated by ready meals

By Rebecca Black

A Ballymoney man who made it to the final seven in Masterchef has revealed he learned to cook when he was a student because he got fed up with eating ready meals.

Former Coleraine Inst pupil Jamie Patterson (29) had judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode on the BBC cooking show in raptures with some of his creations, including lamb with anchovies, while his Scottish themed feast wowed renowned chef Tom Kitchin during his guest judge appearance.

However, a final invention challenge shown to television audiences on Thursday evening, during which competitors chose from a larder which included no meat or fish, saw Jamie eliminated.

Now he has revealed to the Belfast Telegraph plans to grow his London-based Ramekin and Wine supper club - and he also wants to try his hand at running a pop-up restaurant. "My mum was always a keen cook but I started cooking at university (in Newcastle). I got sick of eating ready meals and then I found I absolutely loved it and it was a great way to relax," he explained.

Jamie, who works as a Wine Marketing manager for Majestic Wines in London, said he had considered entering Masterchef previously but it was only for this series that he took the time to sit down and fill in the application form.

He beat thousands of other applicants, passing both a cookery test and interview process, to be selected to take part in the amateur edition of the show.

"You don't realise it is very much a film studio as opposed to a kitchen - it is surreal walking in for the first time, it takes you by surprise," he said. "In the first episode you have just ten minutes to pick your ingredients, your mind goes to jelly."

One of the highlights from his experience was preparing a venison dish from the carcass for the first time in front of the cameras.

Jamie was born in England to Northern Irish parents. The family moved back to Ballymoney when he was a teenager. He later returned to England to study at Newcastle University, and after graduation moved to London for work. He said his ambition has always been to open his own restaurant and he feels his Masterchef experience will help him to realise this.

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