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Tim Anderson: The Master of Masterchef

By Philippa Morton (17 Oct 11)
Tags: london restaurants, masterchef winner, masterchef, gregg wallace, john torode, bbc chef, celebrity chef, 2011 winner,

Header image for Tim Anderson: The Master of Masterchef
The UK’s star of the show, Tim Anderson, is a hard one to catch, but I was lucky enough to lure him away from endless appointments for a quick chat. After winning Masterchef 2011, he’s been the talk of London town.

Busy as he might be since the show, but Tim relished his 6 months working at the pub Euston Tap before MasterChef, which only served to perpetuate his love of beer. As well as that, Tim is known for his love of burgers, and we are looking forward to his restaurant opening towards the latter half of next year. But Tim is far more than an American who loves his beer and burgers.

Why did you enter Masterchef?

I just always liked cooking and my wife encouraged me to do it. I liked the idea of doing it professionally as I’d never had a job as satisfying before.

If you could summarise your work in 3 words, what would they be?

Progressive, Global and American

What inspires you to do what you do?

I just can’t help myself really. If I hadn’t have gone on Masterchef I would still be doing what I do. It’s my creative outlet. It feels very natural actually.

How often do you go out nowadays for a meal? And where to?

About once a week. Right now, I really like Spuntino's in Soho. They do American and Italian food. And Tukdin for Malaysian food is really good too.

Tim was excited about his pending presence at Malaysian Night in Trafalgar Square the following evening, showcasing Tukdin and many other awesome restaurants such as: Bintang, Malay House, Awana, Delima, Puji Puji and that was just to name a few.

What restaurant would you recommend to a visitor in your local borough?

Muna’s restaurant and bar. It serves Sudanese and Eritrean food.

And if you’re on a budget?

I would go to Mirch Masala.

And if money’s not an issue?

Well, it’s hard to beat Le Gavroche. It’s just amazing classic French food, but not cheap.

When it comes to cooking is there a lot of expectation at family get-togethers?

Ummm..... not really, because everyone in my family are really good cooks. And actually, I don’t usually cook at family gatherings that much because everyone in my family enjoys doing it.

Have John Torode and Greg Wallace ever cooked dinner for you?

Umm, I’ve eaten a meal at John’s restaurant (Smiths of Smithfield) which is not exactly him cooking, and I have never eaten anything from Greg. (Wallace & Co.)

What is the most unusual night you have ever had in London?

That’s a tough question. I’ve had a few, but most recently they had the Scotch Egg Challenge at The Ship pub in Wandsworth. It felt like a chef convention in a way, with other chefs from Masterchef and food bloggers, and all getting very drunk throughout the night. Not the strangest, but very surreal.

What would a ‘Perfect Day in the life of Tim Anderson’ be?

Wake up around 10 o’clock in L.A. Then I’d go and get a nice big brunch and then probably go back to bed for an hour. Then I’d go for a walk in a nice park with my wife. Have a bowl of noodles for dinner, watch a movie. That’s all I really need.

Have you noticed that women’s attitudes towards you have changed now that you’re famous?

[Chuckles] Not really, I’m married, so I don’t notice that much anymore anyway. [Awwwww!]

Do you see yourself as a celebrity chef?

Umm, I am a little bit famous I guess, but I just think of myself as a chef now.

What is the most sensational dish you have ever eaten?

That would be the Sound of the Sea, Heston Blumenthal’s. It’s a fish course with an ipod that plays the sound of the ocean. (The Fat Duck Restaurant).

Finally, a tip to get people started with cooking at home?

You see something or eat something that tastes good try to make it. You have to start trying things. Don’t be afraid. You learn from your mistakes and keep getting better.

Image courtesy of Paul Winch-Furness.

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