A Brazilian businesswoman who runs her own catering company from her Harrow on the Hill home proved a hit on cookery show Masterchef: The Professionals.
Luciana Berry, who lives off West Street, wowed chef Marcus Wareing with a sweetbreads and liver pie in the episode broadcast last night.
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The 34-year-old Bahia native is married to Philip, also 34, who is head of Spanish at The John Lyon School in Middle Road, and the couple have a son, Raphael, aged three.
Mrs Berry said: “I loved it. It was great. The experience was fantastic – just incredible.”
She was one of three of the five contestants to make the next round, which is being shown tonight (Thursday).
“I've lived in Harrow on the Hill for 10 years and I started out at Incanto restaurant as manager,” Mrs Berry said.
“I decided I wanted to open a catering business because I was very interesting in cooking. This was in 2010.”
Mrs Berry studied at the Le Cordon Bleu London culinary school in Holborn and then started her Catering On The Hill firm.
She provides meals for private clients and Harrow School functions among others and decided to give Masterchef a go.
“They liked me because my cuisine was different from anyone else on the programme and because I am a woman and there are not many female professional chefs,” she said.
Competitors faced three challenges: they cooked their signature dish, which for Mrs Berry was the Brazilian fish stew moqueca made with lobster; completed a skills test by preparing a plate of a cuttlefish; and tackled a technical challenge by creating something with sweetbreads, which she had cooked only once before.
“I was very nervous and [judge] Monica Galetti is very scary!” said Mrs Berry of the second task.
“Marcus said the sweetbread pie shortcrust pastry melted in his mouth.
“The French classic cuisine I was trained in uses a lot of butter. It was risky as the pie could have fallen apart.
“I really enjoyed the show because I'm very creative so I wanted to show that part of me.
“It was good to have the opportunity and I use the whole experience to inform my cooking.”