Shrewsbury Chef to Make TV Debut on Channel 4 The Taste with Nigella Lawson
A TV chef set to hit our screens on Tuesday night, but who has never professionally cheffed!
James Sherwin, who lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, is one of 25 domestic cooks who will be competing in Channel 4′s latest high profile food TV show ” The Taste”, joint hosted by Nigella Lawson who is one of three judges who will sample and judge on just one mouthful of food made by the entrants.This will be the first time Nigella will appear in a British show since she her controversial revelations at her recent court case, where she admitted taking cocaine to help her through her previous relationship. During the case her former personal assistants were cleared of fraud.
Last week, Nigella broke her silence whilst promoting The Taste in America saying the whole experience of the trial had been “mortifying”. The show was pre-recorded in the Autumn prior to the revelations, and James said he had no comment on Nigella’s court appearance.
James is a 35 year old father of two, who began cooking only 6 years ago “I first started cooking around 6 years ago when I had my first daughter, something in me clicked that I had to be able to look after my family and being able to cook was part of that. Very quickly I fell in love with cooking and have carried on since.” By profession James is a children’s nurse, but says the world of professional chefs and TV is a World away from his day to day job “I entered the competition following a link on twitter, not thinking anything of it, then the next I knew I was contacted and auditioned, and within a few weeks I was battling it out with 25 ‘proper’ cooks and Chefs surround by TV cameras and house-hold names including Nigella, Chef Ludo Lefebvre and food maverick Anthony Bourdain - not only that it was held at Pinewood Studios – I thought the only thing I would ever share with James Bond was his name, not the studios where he films the Bond movies – it was quite surreal”
Tuesdays launch show sees James battling for one of 12 places in the competition, to see if his self taught skills can take him to the next stages. He will be seen preparing chestnut and crab ravioli with chestnut sprinkles in a crab and fennel bisque – a dish which he spent hours perfecting at his Shropshire home. “I must have done it about 30 times,changing the flour, the ratios of meat and the amounts of dark crab meat or light. It was a bit of a nightmare. But I think it turned out OK.”
Plans for the future? James’ lips are sealed as to how well he does in the show, but says he is now looking at hosting a series of events and a follow up ‘pop-up’ restaurant, following his successful trial event in December held at Shrewsbury’s Coffee House where guests were amazed by his creations and grasp of flavours. An attendee of the inaugural pop-up was food writer and Editor of eat-the-midlands.co.uk James Day who added “We often get invited to such events, and managed to make it along to this event hosted by James, with no real anticipation as we had never heard of him, but from the first amuse bouche and through to the salt and pepper fudge, we were all blown away – James certainly has a hidden talent which I am sure will come out during his TV appearances. He is not a classically trained chef and is totally self-taught, which makes it even more remarkable. We look forward to the next one at the end of January.”
The Taste will be aired from Tuesday 7th January from 9pm Channel 4.