Fiona out of Mary Berry’s Britain’s Best Home Cook show

Fiona out of Mary Berry’s Britain’s Best Home Cook show

9 May 2018

A DOWNPATRICK woman who cooked for Mary Berry in her new BBC show has said preparing Christmas dinner for 60 people is easy in comparison.

Talented cook Fiona Hamill was seen showcasing her skills on TV in front of a UK-wide audience on Thursday evening.

Sadly nerves got the better of Fiona, who was voted off in the first round of Britain’s Best Home Cook.

Although she’s “glad to be home” after facing so many cameras, she said it was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet the queen of baking.

“Mary Berry kept winking at me,” Fiona laughed. “When I asked her why, she said she always winked at people who were nervous.”

The mother-of-six was up against nine other competitors for the eight-part series and in an unusual move they lived together in a shared house.

Also hosted by Strictly Come Dancing favourite Claudia Winkleman, the show puts home cooks through their paces in a series of culinary tests.

After the home-cooked burger round, Fiona unfortunately came up against a hollandaise sauce that split – which, along with a garlic mayonnaise, was a source of frustration to this experienced cook.

“I have made that sauce so many times,” she said. “It just floored me completely. The camera was on me constantly too -  I was just terrified.

“I joked at the time that I had had six kids, kidney stones and gall stones and this was worse.”

Fiona said not being in her own kitchen was difficult. “It was all modern equipment and I have never worked with an induction hob before,” she said. “I’ve had my Kenwood for 30 years.

“I was the oldest there at 59. A lot of the contestants were 27 or 30 and I did feel like the granny.

“But Mary Berry and all the contestants were lovely. It was a great experience. Mary is just a lovely lady. Claudia was also so funny.”

Fiona said she was pleased to have been selected to take part in the show but said she “did not really think it through”.

“It was the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever done,” she said. “I was glad to be home.

“I have cooked for 60 people in my house and I could do that and not even think twice.

 “I will definitely keep watching, though, and can’t wait to see who makes it to the end.”