Natalie Coleman was the comfortable winner of MasterChef 2013.
Natalie Coleman, a part-time DJ from Hackney, East London, has been crowned this year's MasterChef champion after impressing judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with her final menu, which included lobster tails, roast pork belly and a chocolate panna cotta. "This is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life," said Coleman after winning the title "It's like a fairytale really, the girl from Hackney done good."
Coleman's victory wasn't a huge surprise to viewers, who saw finalists Larkin and Dale fall away in the final three episodes this week. The latter was reduced to tears after Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing delivered a scathing critique of his food. He chose not to taste one of Larkin's creations.
Torode said: "I think Natalie is destined for great things. She not only understands finery of great food but she cooks food that people want to eat. She also has a great palate and understands flavour combinations." Coleman, who beat 50 contestants to the prize, says she now wants a career in food. "I want to learn as much as possible under great chefs and possibly go into food writing once I've learnt a lot more about food," she said. "Depending on how good I get, my own restaurant one day would be amazing."
Last year's winner Shelina Permalloo is currently writing a cookery book, while 2008 champion James Nathan has opened a restaurant in Cornwall. This year's series has been another ratings winner for the BBC, with the penultimate episode pulling in 5.22 million, according to The Independent.
Natalie's winning menu was:
Starter: Lobster tail, accompanied by compressed fennel, fennel puree and shavings, dressed with an orange gel and beurre blanc, and Lobster oil.
Main: Roast pork belly, pork tenderloin and a scotch egg (made of black pudding and quail's egg), served with a pomme puree, caramelised shallots and two sauces - apple and a honey mustard.
Dessert: Vanilla chocolate panna cotta topped with a tempered bitter chocolate tuile with caramelised pears and a trio of hazelnut crumble biscuits.