A LANCASHIRE woman appeared on BBC Masterchef earlier this week, bringing her vegan dishes to the TV judges.
Preston-born Meg Long took on eight contestants in a bid to earn the MasterChef apron.
Sadly, the radio producer didn’t make it to the next round of the contest, but says she’s “proud” to even have been selected for a show she’s been a fan of for over a decade.
Meg, 24, said: “I’m so proud to even be on the show.
“The other day in 2011, I got a pop-up on Facebook saying ‘I can’t wait to watch MasterChef.
“It’s funny to think I’ve been on a show I’ve been such a big fan of since I was 13. It’s a surreal feeling to imagine your younger self would be proud.”
In the episode, which aired on Tuesday, she was able to cook two vegan dishes.
She said: “I was able to cook dishes that I love and the judges loved the flavors of my signature cauliflower dish which is such a compliment.
“I created all the recipes myself and I feel like I have to show how inventive I can be with vegan food.
“It was such an amazing experience and I’m so overwhelmed with the support everyone has given.”
Meg, who was the youngest person in this heat of the show, served spicy roast cauliflower on a bed of mashed Bombay potatoes.
Speaking on the show, Meg said: ‘I really want to prove that you can cook something delicious and meatless.
“I think I’m pretty inventive, I think you have to be when you’re vegan.”
One judge, TV favorite Gregg Wallace, praised its flavors but criticized its presentation.
He said, “I love your flavors. I particularly like the pointed tamarind around the apple.
“Your mashed cauliflower becomes almost toasted – almost biscuity and buttery.
“I think you’ve done your flavors very well, but we need a better looking dish.”
Another judge, celebrity chef John Torode, said: “The cauliflower on top, for me, is overcooked. It got too soft and we lost our texture.
“But I love Bombay apples and potatoes, I think they’re really well done; good start.”
The next dessert on the menu was Meg’s dessert, chocolate ganache, cherries, chocolate cookies and cherry sorbet, which received mixed reviews from the judges.
John said: “I really love your sorbet – it’s tasty and sharp like a real sour cherry should be.
“The cookies are still a little soft which is a shame.
“Your ganache is well done but so rich in dark cocoa… Something else is missing here to soften the blow.”
Greg said, “You changed the dish. It didn’t quite work out for you, we can see – but you have some great ideas and you showed some talent.
On the show, Meg said she was “disappointed” to be leaving but had ambitious plans for the next decade.
She said, “Give me 10 more years and I could be the best cook.”
Addressing the Lancashire TelegraphMeg said she will continue to cook and update her food Instagram blog, @offtheeatentrack_.
She said: “I will continue to create vegan recipes and share them on my Instagram page.
“The judges really liked the flavors I created and these are the kind of recipes I create, they are very tasty.
“I will continue to be a champion of great tasting vegan food and I’m excited to see what happens in my future!”
“I would like to create a cookbook one day, but for now you can find all my recipes, all plant-based of course, on Instagram.”
MasterChef continues on BBC One and the series is available on iPlayer.