MasterChef Champion 2011
MASTERCHEF 2011 WINNER
Tim Anderson, 26, has been crowned the youngest ever amateur winner of MasterChef. After an incredible 11 weeks of intense challenges Tim Anderson was awarded his title of MasterChef Champion 2011 by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
Tim Anderson said: “Tom and Sara are outstanding cooks and I never really thought I had a chance to beat either of them. Looking back on all the amazing cooks that left before me, it is really quite humbling to have come out on top. Humbling but super awesome at the same time. Really, it is such a good feeling. I'm very proud of the accomplishment and I'm just so glad that John and Gregg liked my food.”
John Torode said: “I think all three were amazing but Tim was in a different world altogether. He had influences from Norway, Japan, America, Australia and the UK. That all coming together gave us the best culinary explosion that we've ever seen in MasterChef.”
Gregg Wallace said: “Inventive is one thing but inventive and delicious is nothing short of incredible.”
Tim battled his way from 20 contestants through to the final three and throughout the final week, and alongside other finalists Tom Whitaker and Sara Danesin, had to demonstrate his creativity, skill and determination as the finalists undertook serious and life changing challenges.
These included: travelling 10,000 miles to Australia to cook lunch in a pre-historic rainforest; cater their own food for a wedding in the 35C heat and also a very special three-course lunch designed by John Torode for a select group of his most important mentors; travel to the eating-out capital of the world to cook at three of New York’s finest restaurants and finally the most intimidating challenge set on MasterChef – cooking an exquisite three-course menu designed by two Michelin-starred chef John Campbell at Coworth Park, for some of the chefs who had mentored them through out the series.
The final task was to prepare a three-course meal for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Tim’s winning menu consisted of a starter of Tri-City Sliders; The Los Angeles Slider of Wagyu Tartare, Smoky Lime and Jalapeño Marmalade, Avocado and Butter Bean Mousse, The Tokyo Slider of Monkfish Liver, Umeboshi Ketchup, Jellied Ponzu, Matcha Mayonnaise and The London Slider of Curried Lamb Cheeseburger, Apple and Ale Chutney, Raita Mayonnaise. A main of Kyushu-Style Pork Ramen with Truffled Lobster, Gyoza and Aromatic Oils, and a Trio of British Desserts consisting of : Sticky Toffee Crème Brulee with Blackcurrant Stout Sauce, Rhubarb Crumble with Custard and Cheddar Cheesecake with Whiskey Jelly.
Tim, who is currently managing a craft beer bar outside Euston Station whilst planning his future in food, will be appearing at the MasterChef Experience at the Summer Good Food Show in Birmingham on 15th – 19th June.
Tim Anderson, 26, was born in Racine, Wisconsin where he lived with his parents and brother until he was 18, and then moved to Los Angeles, California to go to college.
Tim said: “When I was growing up food was not that important to the family, and we kind of ate what was quick and cheap to prepare. That all started to change when my brother and I grew up and my mum stopped working full time."
Tim has been cooking seriously for four years but his first interest in food sparked from his love of Japan, which his audition dish of Cod tempura and candied purple sweet potato chips with pickled ginger tartar sauce and yuzu-malt vinegar tsuyu, demonstrated.
“I first became interested in Japanese food when I was about 15, but I didn't cook much until I was about 20. My passion really took off when I lived in Japan, from when I was 22 to 24, and since then cooking has been one of my greatest obsessions.”
“In 2008, I ate a three course meal at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. The starter was served with strawberries caramelised in 25 year old balsamic vinegar. It was so beautiful that it nearly made me cry.”
Right from the start of the series, Tim’s creative and daring style delivered stunning flavours and outstanding dishes.
“I particularly love regional Japanese cuisine, American local specialities, cooking and pairing with beer, artisanal cheese, unexpected flavour combinations, and culinary deconstructivism.”
Tim thinks his toughest moment in the series was during his first insight into the world of the professional kitchen, “I still think that my lunch service at Suka was one of the hardest few hours of my life, and certainly my greatest fiasco in the competition. I had made other mistakes but usually managed to bounce back from them, but when I finally figured out what I was doing wrong in that kitchen with the Nasi Goreng dishes, it was too little too late! I walked out of that hotel thinking I just might not have what it takes to be a professional cook.”
But Tim bounced back with unwavering focus and credits this partly to his fellow contestants:
“I have gained a huge amount of knowledge and insight throughout the course of the competition, and actually a great deal of it came from my fellow contestants. Some of their ideas were really inspiring, and on top of that their skill level constantly challenged me to learn new methods and techniques.”
And also the professional mentors along his culinary journey:
“I was lucky enough to work with some incredible professional chefs, and each one taught me something different and influenced me in a different way. John Torode was always there, coaching us and helping us out with little tidbits of advice, but really profoundly useful tidbits. John Campbell was an amazing teacher as I feel like I really learned how to think and cook like a professional in his kitchen. He whipped me into shape, helped me get organized, and taught me some really useful techniques, and I went from being 40 minutes behind on prep to putting out a really successful dish right on time. And then there were Paco Roncero and Wylie Dufresne, two amazing minds who taught me that the use of science in the kitchen isn't about unusual chemicals, it's about trying to understand the how and why of cooking on a deeper level, and using that understanding to produce exciting, innovative food with incredible flavors and textures. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such awesome chefs, both professional and amateur.”
Of dreams for the future Tim said: “The big, silly, long term goal is to have an empire, hopefully including several regional Japanese restaurants and an American-style brewpub.
“But for the moment I’m really anxious to get into some professional kitchens and work in whatever capacity I can. I still have so much to learn about how a kitchen and a restaurant operates, from nuts and bolts things like butchery and knife skills and sauces up to ordering, accounting, and staffing. Then I’ll be ready to open a restaurant that focuses on the cuisine of southern Japan while still allowing a few creative, personal dishes.”
Tim and his wife Laura have been married for nearly three years and live in North London.