Cherwell

Oxford PhD student beaten in MasterChef final

Photo: PA

Oxford PhD student Nawamin Pinpathomrat has been beaten to the title of the 2018 series of MasterChef.

35-year-old bank manager Kenny Tutt had his “best week yet”, according to judges Greg Wallace and John Torode, and was crowned the winner.

Pinpathomrat, who trained as a doctor in his native Thailand, is studying for his PhD at the Jenner Institute.

Despite the result, he won the hearts of the show’s viewers over the course of the series, and ‘Nawamin’ was a top-ten trend on Twitter during tonight’s episode.

After making it to the final of the competition, he told Cherwell: “It means a lot to me.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to make it this far, but I’ve 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 up to perfection while I have to finish my experiments and write my DPhil thesis – no pressure!”

During tonight’s show, he said: “I just want to enjoy cooking today. I’m going to cook my socks off. I have nothing to lose!

“I’m very proud that I decided to do this. It will stay with me forever.”

Upon hearing about Pinpathomrat’s menu for the evening, Wallace said: “Nawamin – and I mean this in the nicest possible way – you are nuts.

“We’ve never seen anything like it.”

Despite his starter of lobster and scallops impressing the judges, his red curry duck, infused with pear, was called “a bit tough”, and Wallace was critical of his overly-intricate pudding.

“It’s not easy to eat,” he said. “The theatricals are, this time, getting in the way of the dessert, not necessarily enhancing it.”

Pinpathomrat takes his love for cooking from his mother, but cites his grandmother – who taught him that he should grow his own ingredients rather than buying them – as his most important culinary inspiration.

He impressed the judges throughout the series with his unusual combinations of food.

To reach the final, he cooked banana leaf grilled trout curry with wild mushrooms, chilli, basil and lime leaves, served with rice, carved vegetables, and a prawn and salted fish coconut dip.