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I want Ash Mair to win tonight’s Masterchef.  Normally I would shy away from being so blatent in my favouritism but frankly, the man is a genius.

I’m a little bit in love with him. And Michel Roux. Sorry, Gregg, but you don’t get a look in.  I love Masterchef for the way in which it expands and pushes talent without bullying or cruelty (except for the bit when they have to walk out without saying goodbye at the end). It’s got a nurturing ethos amidst all the dancing blades and seared meats, promoting cooking skills and seasonality all the way.

I winced for Ash last night with the guineafowl burn moment.  Urged him on in getting his food plated up to serve in time. Teared up at his heartfelt thanks for the praise from the royalty of the culinary world.

Bless them helping each other out with plating up.  I thought that was truly wonderful – a bit of compassion amongst the competition.   Claire, Steve and Ash are all fine chefs, and so young.  Mere whipsters who have stood up well to the pressure and palavar surrounding Masterchef.

I hope Ash wins. I really do. He’s stood out for me from the beginning. It could be the hair, his expressive eyebrows, or the way in which he has taken criticism on board and used it to go to ever higher heights of culinary wonder.  Since an early falter over a lack of seasoning he has not let an opportunity to include bold flavour pass him by.

Steve, the slightly cheeky chappie who clearly soaks up new knowledge like a sponge, and the perennially smiling Claire, who has as yet untapped depths of culinary genius are both deserving finalists.  But, like Gregg tasting a piece of slightly underhung game, I feel that they need a little more time to develop.

Let no hair stand unflopped, Ash. Whisk away, save your very best til last.

Bonne chance to all three culinary contenders!