MERIDEN’S Pookie cooked up a storm in the first of the Masterchef finals.
The beauty salon owner once again showcase her creativity and technical ability in the kitchen with a dish dedicated to the RNLI, an organisation she said she didn’t know about until they saved her husband.
In Tuesday’s show the contestants were asked to create a dish inspired by someone or something very special to them.
Pookie created her version of Choo Chee salmon in honour of the charity.
Once again the judges, Greg Wallace and John Torode, praised the 45-year-old’s creativity and imagination with her dish.
The remaining three contestants then headed to Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in Ireland where they were given a masterclass by founders Darina Allen and Rory O’ Connell.
They were then tasked to create a dish for a celebratory dinner for some of Ireland’s finest food producers, food historians and relatives of Myrtle Allen, the patron of Irish cuisine.
Pookie used foraged herbs to create her Emerland Ireland lamb curry with foraged herbs from the school’s garden.
The dinner guests, and judges, were once again impressed with Pookie’s creation of a Thai green curry with Irish lamb.
On Wednesday night, after the Observer had gone to press, the contestants were set to head back to the Masterchef kitchen for a cook off before the final three head to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London to cook.
Pookie grew up in Bangkok before moving to the UK after earning her degree and while she has Thai-Chinese heritage she said she does not limit herself to Thai-Chinese food.
Pookie said: “I am Thai with Chinese heritage and although this has a huge influence on my cooking, I don’t limit myself to Thai-Chinese food.
“I like cooking international foods but love introducing my own style with all the foods I’ve cooked.
“Most of all I want my food to be flavoursome, delicious, fun and put a smile on people’s faces.”