As a new batch of hopeful chefs enter the MasterChef series, Ioan from north Wales is hoping to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with his farming roots. The 38-year-old is currently a marketing manager but grew up in a farming family and community and will be incorporating this into his dishes.
Currently living in Salford with his boyfriend, Ioan grew up in Ruthin and Wrexham, where there were plenty of fresh ingredients. He said: “I am originally from a farming family and community, raised in the countryside and surrounded with an abundance of fresh produce.”
From growing up with natural and fresh ingredients on his doorstep Ioan is now very keen to use them in his meals and recipes. He said: “This has made me passionate about the produce I use and I understand and respect its origins.”
He will also be using his experience from travelling to influence his dishes, including different cultures and ingredients. Ioan said: “I am a keen traveller and look for inspiration from new produce, cultures, and experiences from around the world.”
Similar to fellow Welsh chef Leon, who has already appeared in this year’s series of MasterChef and who you can read more about here, Ioan has been a fan of MasterChef for years and it has always been a dream of his. He said: “MasterChef has always been a dream of mine. I have avidly watched it over several years, always thinking ‘I will apply … one day’ – and here I am, I finally plucked up the courage!”
Calling the show an “opportunity of a lifetime” Ioan has big plans and wants to show off to the judges what he can do. He said: “This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I want to demonstrate my passion, my ability to grow as a cook, and most importantly I want to have fun.”
Ioan and Leon are not the first Welsh contestants to take part in MasterChef, with many going on to open restaurants and foodie businesses after the show – you can read where the previous Welsh MasterChef contestants are now here. MasterChef continues on BBC One on Tuesday, April, 5 at 8pm. You can keep up to date with the latest food and what’s on news in Wales by subscribing to our newsletters here.