Calne family raises a glass to MasterChef victor

This Is Wiltshire: MasterChef Professional winner Steven Edwards on the show MasterChef Professional winner Steven Edwards on the show

THE parents of MasterChef Professional champion Steven Edwards only found out their son was the winner when the result was announced to the nation on the BBC show.

Andrew and Alison, of Tench Road, Calne, were invited to watch Thursday evening’s final at the South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, Sussex, where he is head chef, although filming had taken place weeks before.

Steven’s dad, who is a past president of Chippenham Wiltshire Vale Rotary Club, said: “It was very tense as we waited for the result and then everyone just went wild. There were lots of tears of joy and relief and huge hugs all round and then we just popped the Champagne.”

The family moved to Wiltshire from Windsor in 2004 when Steven was a teenager and he worked as a chef de partie at Hartnam Park, near Corsham, under head chef Andrew McNaughton, who is now head chef at The Bell at West Overton, near Marlborough.

Filming for the series took place over five weeks in June and July and contestants were sworn to secrecy.

Steven, 27, said: “The only person I told was my wife Laura. It was very difficult to keep it secret and it was such a relief when the result was announced.

“To be honest I didn’t really know how to react. All the hotel guests were in the room along with my family and I am not really one for punching the air and going wild. It felt a bit surreal when everyone wanted to have their picture taken with me.

“The whole experience was fantastic but the first week was the worst as I was putting my professional reputation on the line and it would have been embarrassing to go out in the first round. After that I began to relax and just try and show what I could do.”

Steven, who has two young children, returns regularly to Wiltshire to see his parents and his younger brother Peter who works at Kwik Fit in Devizes. He also regularly cooks a fundraising meal for his father’s Rotary Club.

Mr Edwards said: “I told him we would understand if he couldn’t make it but he was determined to still make it. He had a lot of fans in Wiltshire through the Rotary Club and family friends. Everywhere I go people want to talk about Steven.”

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