A young cooking enthusiast has beat hundreds of hopefuls and made it through to the third stage of top Tv show Junior MasterChef.
Ten-year-old Kayleigh Farrow has been nervously waiting to hear if she will become a semi-finalist in the cooking competition, which is a spin off for the hit TV show MasterChef, but is for young cokking stars instead of adults.
Kayleigh, who attends Ripley Junior School, applied to be a contestant after watching the popular television programme.
She said: “It was my idea to apply. I was sat watching the show with my family and thought, ‘I’d love to do that’. I downloaded an application form and sent it off, but I never expected to hear from them.”
Kayleigh, who was given her first cookery book aged five, received a phonecall two days after applying.
“The producers rang me to say they were impressed with my application and gave me a telephone interview on the spot. I thought it might be quite hard, but they asked me easy questions like why I enjoyed cooking, what were my favourite things to cook and what I would make in the competition,” she said.
Following the interview, Kayleigh got an invite to attend a casting day in Birmingham.
Contestants were told to take a pre-cooked dish along to the audition, held at a Premier Inn hotel on May 28.
Mum Karen Farrow, of Field Terrace, Ripley, said her daughter was so excited and immediately started brainstorming ideas.
The 47-year-old said: “Kayleigh started planning to make a German crumb cake, I’d never even heard of it before.”
Kayleigh, who has a twin sister and an older brother said: “I prefer making savoury food because I think I am better at it. My favourite thing to cook is spinach and Italian sausage on home-made garlic bread, but I decided to make a pudding that I thought everyone would like.”
The family travelled to the casting day where she showcased her German crumb cake and chatted to producers.
Kayleigh now faces a month-long wait to find out if she has made it to the semi-finals, which will be filmed in in London in August.
But the promising young cook isn’t nervous about cooking on camera.
She said: “I think it would be really exciting. My twin said she wants me to get to the next stage so she can say she has a sister on television.”
Mum Karen said she wasn’t sure where her daughter had found her skill.
She said: “She definitely doesn’t get it from me, I just dollop food on a plate but Kayleigh really takes pride in both the taste and presentation of her food! She has loved cooking from a young age and I enjoy watching her having fun in the kitchen, as well as taste-testing what she creates.
“We are all proud of her and hope she makes it to the next stage. But even if it’s not meant to be, I have every faith that she could make this her career in the future. She has a lot of potential.”
Kayleigh said: “I find cooking relaxing and it calms me down after a long day at school. I really hope I have made it to the semi-final, but I would definitely like to be a successful chef one day.”