Cooking with Masterchef 2012 Finalist Andrew Kojima

In the kitchen with Koj

I’m a huge Masterchef fan.  I even got through to the auditions once, they wanted me on but when I told them I wouldn’t cook meat they politely ushered me out of the production office – they couldn’t rewrite the programme just to accommodate a veggie.  It didn’t matter, I was just thrilled to have seen how it all works.  We watched Andrew Kojima, or Koj as he is known, intently during the heats of Masterchef 2012 and were thrilled when he got to the final.  When the chance to cook with him came up (an auction ‘prize’ at a charity ball fundraising for our beloved Taylan’s Project) we simply had to go for it.  Our table at the ball clubbed together and were the proud ‘winners’ of a coached dinner party with Koj.

Koj arrived at our pal Nikki’s house and we started to create a fabulous three course dinner.  Nikki, her daughter Hannah and I got to work under Koj’s direction. We prepared Goat’s Cheese, Pear, Potato & Onion Tartlets for starters.  For main course the meat eaters had Rack of Lamb with Provencal Herb Crust and the veggies had Butterbean, Pea & Thyme Croquettes all served with a smoked aubergine puree, bulgur wheat patties, broad beans and a tomato and mint salsa.  Dessert was a stunning Ginger Creme Brulee with rhubarb, almond crumble and shards of caramel.  The techniques and processes Koj taught us were exciting & awe inspiring.  From basic kitchen organisation through to knife skills and clever tips, Koj reinvigorated my love of cooking and inspired a new desire to get experimenting.  It’s easy to see how Koj has gone on to great things since Masterchef, cooking with the likes of Michel Roux Jnr, Gordon Ramsey and Heston and has created his own successful business.  You can find out all about Koj and his story by clicking here

Here are some images of our special evening, one I’ll never forget.

Andrew Kojima Cooks

Food Prep - herb butter

Andrew Kojima Chef

Chef teaching

Oil Oil Pouring

Koj preparing food

Bright green Broad Beans

Goats Cheese Tarts

I.O.Shen professional Knives

Koj Cooks

Chef using knife skills

Butterbean Croquettes vegetarian

Preparing a creme brulee

Andrew Kojima