Oxford PhD student reaches final four of MasterChef

Nawamin Pinpathomrat impressed judges John Torode and Greg Wallace with his dishes

Photo: BBC

An Oxford PhD student is through to the final four of this year’s MasterChef.

Nawamin Pinpathomrat, who studies at the Jenner Institute, will compete in the last four after a strong performance on the first night of the show’s ‘Finals Week’ where his dishes impressed judges John Torode and Greg Wallace.

He told Cherwell: “It means a lot to me being a MasterChef final four. Honestly, I didn’t expect to make it this far but I enjoyed every single moment in the competition.

“Of course, I’m excited to be in the final but also nervous at the same time. The standard is getting higher and higher. I have to cook to perfection while I have to finish my experiments and write my DPhil thesis – no pressure!”

Torode said that the 27-year-old had “absolutely smashed it”, while Wallace labelled his trout and rice, presented as a lotus flower, “the dish of the day”.

At the start of the night, the contestant said that at the end of the show, he wanted to be “NawamIN, not NawamOUT”.

He said that he made the food that his Grandma would cook for him as a homecoming meal.

Pinpathomrat has secured a cult social media following after his charismatic performances throughout the series.

The student, who trained as a doctor in his native Thailand, said that cooking and medicine have some similarities.

He said: “Being a doctor, basically, the patients come to see you, they’re ill and then you treat them to make them like happy and that’s so rewarding.

“It’s exactly the same thing with cooking, when people come to my place, I cook for them and then, ‘It’s so lovely, I haven’t had this food before in my life!’

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“It’s like that’s good, that’s rewarding so actually the same thing.”

Last week, Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw described a mousse than Pinpathomran had prepared as “a new thing for me”.

“I’ve come here today, I can learn from you – no problem,” he said.

Wednesday night’s episode will see the final four contestants travel to Lima, Peru to “try out a cuisine they had never tried before.”

The final of this year’s series will take place on Friday night.