Published: 11:35, 03 September 2019
| Updated: 12:52, 03 September 2019
A former England footballer triumphed in the first heat of Celebrity Masterchef last night.
Ashford resident Neil 'Razor' Ruddock consistently cooked up a treat in his competition debut, however presentation seemed to be a minor sticking point.
In the market test, contestants had to create their own bangers, mash and gravy recipe with the former Big Brother Housemate using a meat medley to wow the judges.
Mr Ruddock plated up a beef, lamb, pork, bacon and leek sausage with mashed potato and an onion and port gravy.
An excited John Torode said: "Your mashed potato is smooth as it should be and rich with the butter and really well seasoned.
"Your gravy, with the sweetness of the port and onions, is fabulous and your sausages themselves are moist inside still with lots of flavour. It's great, good on you."
Similarly impressed, Biddenden homeowner Greg Wallace said: "I consider that a job very well done. We'll have to keep an eye on you because you appear to be a bit of a cook."
Mr Ruddock - alongside Strictly's Oti Mabuse and para-athlete Andy Grant - then entered a professional kitchen for the first time, taking on a fish course at The Coal Shed in London.
The ex-I'm a Celebrity campmate was tasked with making miso and sake marinaded halibut, served with monk's beard, mussels, a mussel veloute and a cauliflower and goat cheese purée.
Initially heavy-handed with his purée presentation, Mr Ruddock soon grew in confidence under the tutelage of head chef Chris Ditch. At the end of the shift, the pro cook said that the amateur's performance was "absolutely on point".
The final challenge of the episode saw the competitors making their own specialities with Razor electing to make 'Friday night pasta', his pre-match favourite.
The dish - containing pasta, minced beef, bacon and onions - was warmly received by the judges despite its mammoth size.
Greg Wallace said: "The flavours and textures are all there. You've got melted tangy cheese over real meatiness and you've got a hint of fennel in there as well.
"But you've got to admit it needs a bit of work on presentation - it's as big as you are."
John Torode then called it "delicious" and Razor was visibly chuffed as he walked back to the cooking station.
Also in the heat was Chatham-born fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who scared Joey Essex by wielding an oversized kebab skewer at top London Indian restaurant Kahani.
After Andy Grant was named as the day's loser, Mr Ruddock will continue his Celebrity Masterchef journey in tomorrow's episode.
Further heats will see a number of Kent celebrities attempt to woo the judges - Gogglebox star Dom Parker, who once owned the Salutation Gardens in Sandwich, Herne Bay-based boxing supremo Kellie Maloney, and former South East Today weatherman Tomasz Shafernaker.
Dom will appear on Monday, while Kellie and Tomasz are appearing on Monday, September 23.
More by this authorCharlie Harman