Marine pilot Eddie Scott became the MasterChef 2022 Champion on Thursday, after taking on fierce competition from 44 other amateur cooks through seven weeks of culinary challenges and an exhilarating final cook-off.
And as the real-life Top Gun, 31, rejoices from being awarded the coveted trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, MailOnline takes a look at his ‘dream job’ in the Merchant Navy which has seen him pilot ships on the Humber for the last five years, as well as his Punjabi family background which inspired his love of cooking.
He spent eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy travelling the world and has piloted ships on the Humber for the last five years, much like Tom Cruise‘s LT Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the iconic film series.
Wow! MasterChef winner Eddie Scott is a real-life Top Gun: As the marine pilot is awarded the highly coveted cooking trophy, MailOnline takes a look at his career in the Merchant Navy, Punjabi family background and cooking inspiration
Exciting: He spent eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy travelling the world and has piloted ships on the Humber for the last five years, much like Tom Cruise’s LT Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (right) in the iconic film series
He told the Yorkshire Post: ‘I grew up in a small village in Leicestershire, Newton Harcourt. I spent eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy, navigating ships the world over. At the age of 26, I applied for my dream job as a Marine pilot and have piloted ships on the Humber for the last five years.
However, his love of cooking stems from a family passionate about food – from his mother’s baking skills, to his father’s experimental dishes and his grandparents’ perfection of Punjabi classics.
Clearly a family man, he dubbed his 86-year-old nanny ‘Auntie Ji’ a ‘real boss’ in the kitchen on his Instagram page, while his love of cars inspired him to splash out on a navy convertible Porsche.
Having grown up in a small village in Newton Harcourt, Leicestershire, he is now a resident of Beverley in East Yorkshire where he lives with his fiancée, Nami, however enjoys a city break to New York City, including one in 2019.
Talented: However, his love of cooking stems from a family passionate about food – from his mother’s baking skills, to his father’s experimental dishes and his grandparents’ perfection of Punjabi classics
Eddie recalled his childhood, looking through cookbooks, constantly thinking about food and says: ‘All of our best memories were cooking together, travelling and eating together.’
Remembering what seriously ignited his desire to cook, Eddie says: ‘Growing up, we’d pack up our little Ford Fiesta and spend summer holidays camping in France. I was astounded by how the French presented ingredients and how delicious dishes in the simplest cafés and restaurants were.
‘The way food was engrained in French culture was a total revelation. I wanted to recreate it and that’s how I really got into cooking.’
Inspiration: Clearly a family man, he dubbed his 86-year-old nanny ‘Auntie Ji’ a ‘real boss’ in the kitchen on his Instagram page
On his food style, Eddie said: ‘I love to cook the Punjabi dishes I grew up eating with my family. But my real passion is the great Mughlai cuisine: the historic royal dishes of Old Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. I so admire classic French and Indian cookery and like to create my own fusion of the two fascinating foodie cultures.’
Looking ahead, Eddie added: ‘Everything in my life has been building up to doing something in food. It would be amazing to be able to cook in a top restaurant and with the most famous royal Awadhi chefs in Lucknow.
‘It would also be exciting to write about food or even do some more TV. What I’d really love is to own my own restaurant – sharing my food memories and nostalgia. I always knew one day I wanted to pursue a career in food and now MasterChef has made me realise that this can be a reality.’
He became the MasterChef 2022 Champion, it was announced on Thursday, which makes him the 18th amateur cook to claim the prestigious title.
Family man: Having grown up in a small village in Newton Harcourt, Leicestershire, he is now a resident of Beverley in East Yorkshire where he lives with his fiancée, Nami
On his win, an emotional Eddie said: ‘It’s everything. My whole life I feel has been building up to this moment.
‘I can’t believe I’m standing here as the MasterChef champion. It’s just been the most stressful and the most enjoyable! I feel like I’ve just discovered who I am as cook. It’s the best feeling ever.’
MasterChef judge, John said: ‘Eddie is nothing short of a culinary powerhouse. His love of classic French food blended with the spices of India, has made us really stand up and take notice. He’s daring, he’s adventurous, he doesn’t play it safe.’
Gregg added: ‘I think we’ve just seen the birth of a future great chef. Eddie impressed from the moment he set foot in this kitchen. He’s hardly put a foot wrong throughout the competition.’
Well done: The ex-Merchant Navy officer took on fierce competition from 44 other amateur cooks, through seven weeks of culinary challenges and an exhilarating final cook-off
On his MasterChef experience, Eddie said: ‘I sat watching the show for years telling myself to apply. I wanted to go up in front of John and Gregg to see what I could really do.
‘I think every amateur cook secretly dreams of having the chance to go onto a show like MasterChef – to have that one chance of totally changing your life in what you love doing!’
To John and Gregg, he said: ‘It’s been life’s greatest pleasure to sit here and cook for you both the food that I love. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’
Yum! Eddie recalled his childhood, looking through cookbooks, constantly thinking about food and says: ‘All of our best memories were cooking together, travelling and eating together’
Eddie faced off strong competition in the final week from tonight’s runners up Pookie Tredell and Radha Kaushal-Bolland, as well Sarah Rankin (Final Four), who left the show last night, and Ioan Jones (Final Five), who left on Tuesday night.
The Final Three were tested beyond anything they’d experienced, to prove to John and Gregg their skill, tenacity and culinary flair were worthy of success in the intense last challenges.
In a gruelling and thrilling last week, MasterChef viewers have seen Eddie travel to Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in the South-West of Ireland, walking in the footsteps of professional chefs from all over the world, who come to learn the ‘farm to table’ philosophy of the late, great patron of Irish cuisine, Myrtle Allen.
Passion: Remembering what seriously ignited his desire to cook, Eddie says: ‘Growing up, we’d pack up our little Ford Fiesta and spend summer holidays camping in France’
Eddie drew on all he learned there to prepare a celebratory dinner for some of Ireland’s finest food producers, food historians and relatives of Myrtle.
Eddie also earned the opportunity of a lifetime, to work with one of the world’s greatest chefs, Gordon Ramsay – whose incredible three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay hosted this year’s Chef’s Table.
Eddie worked under enormous pressure to master their classic dishes, uphold impeccable standards and impress a dining room of some of the country’s best chefs.
Impressive: He became the MasterChef 2022 Champion, it was announced on Thursday, which makes him the 18th amateur cook to claim the prestigious title
Former three-star Michelin legend Pierre Koffmann described his consommé as: ‘Ten out of 10. A lot of chefs cannot do it as well as that. Perfect.’
The competition culminated in the definitive challenge – cooking the best three-course meal of their lives.
Eddie’s winning menu started with turbot, topped with caviar, tempura oyster, cucumber compressed in dill oil and a champagne beurre blanc.
On his starter, Gregg said: ‘You are cooking to a standard here, that many professional chefs haven’t reached.’
Hobby: His love of cars inspired him to splash out on a navy convertible Porsche, writing, ‘New wheels,’ while proudly flaunting his purchase on the social media platform in 2019
John reacted with: ‘Boom. That is stupendous. You’ve taken the finest of ingredients, treated them with real care and got absolute perfection and balance. That’s a great dish that could grace the table of any restaurant, Eddie.’
The main course was a Hyderabadi Dum – a caraway and nigella seed pastry-topped chicken biryani, spiced basmati rice with crispy onions, chicken thigh cooked on the bone, all flavoured with saffron, Kashmiri chilli powder and cardamom, with a cucumber raita.
John told Eddie: ‘I have a problem with this dish. In the fact that I just want to keep shoveling it into my mouth. It’s so extraordinary and addictive!’
To finish his menu, Eddie served his take on the classic French dish, St Emilion au Chocolat – chocolate mousse with a prune purée centre, prunes soaked in Armagnac, almond frangipane, and an almond and Armagnac crème Chantilly.
Gregg reacted with: ‘It’s naughty but it’s absolutely delicious.’
After the tasting, Gregg told Eddie: ‘When I look at you, I can’t honestly imagine you doing anything else but cooking, you are a born cook. I can’t pay you any better compliment.’
MasterChef Series 18 is available to catch up on iPlayer.
Having a blast! He ensured to fill his followers with holiday envy as he documented a city break to New York in 2019