An emotional Lorna Robertson has made it through to the last six of MasterChef.
The remaining semi-final contestants were asked to create a three-course fish lunch, sourcing their ingredients at 4am from Billingsgate Fish Market before getting to work in the kitchens of the Fishmongers’ Company headquarters.
Adding to the pressure, the diners were all experts in the fish industry, so expectations were high.
Lorna, 22, from Berwick, was responsible for a dish in the first course.
Her job was to fillet eight plaice for her Mexican inspired dish of crispy fish tacos with mango salsa and a smoky hot sauce.
“I’ve never filleted any fish before, if I’m honest,” she said.
After struggling to fillet her fish for over an hour, Lorna was behind making the tortilla mix for her tacos.
Clearly emotional, she was comforted by presenter John Torode and kindly given some time to get herself together.
“I had a bit of a mare,” she said. “I think it’s just the stress and pressure.”
Her dish was a popular selection by the waiting diners, with 15 orders, but she only had nine tacos which required her to reduce the portion sizes.
But the response was fantastic.
“I quite enjoyed service after all that,” she said. “It’s been a pretty tough, emotional and stressful long day but a good end to it at least.”
Mike Elgin, Billingsgate fishmonger, said: “The plaice was well cooked and nicely moist.”
Nigel Bankes, Prime Warden Fishmongers’ Company, added: “The mango and guacamole is a sensational combination.”
However, Lorna was still stunned when she was selected by Gregg and John to go through to the next round, avoiding the studio cook-off.
“That is insane,” she said.
Last night, Lorna made it through after the contestants were tasked with catering for the cast and crew of the BBC drama Holby City.
Lorna was given the task of making a dessert and she came up trumps with a chocolate and hazelbut torte, amaretti crumb and vanilla custard with hot salted toffee sauce.