MasterChef runner-up Tony Rodd lives in Blackheath and will host a supperclub at Chapters this month. The Guide Resident quizzes him on MasterChef and moustaches…
Your Twitter profile reads ‘Cosmonaut, cook, magic man and office worker’ – will there be less ‘office’, more ‘cook’?
I’ve worked in architectural recruitment for 13 years, but I’ve always been the type of guy that likes to say yes to opportunities, so I’ve been involved in some fun projects. Since leaving the show, more of these have arisen, so I’m packing in office life soon for a career in the kitchen. I played a cosmonaut in a music video once and can do a bit of magic, but that’s just for fun with friends.
When did you first realise you had a talent for cooking?
Probably around 10 years ago. I find the process therapeutic and it’s how I relax after a long day’s work. I had friends tell me I was good at cooking, but I never really knew how good until I entered MasterChef. The competition’s about more than just who’s the best cook. You need to be able to keep calm under pressure, be creative and stand out.
Who would you prefer to cook for, John Torode or Gregg Wallace?
I could never choose between the guys, they both bring such different things to the table. John has an amazing knowledge of cooking and is great at helping you hone your skills, but Gregg brings an energy and element of fun to proceedings. He lightens the mood!
What’s your most impressive dish?
During the show I forged a name for myself with my desserts and I’m constantly asked about my Caramel Frappuccino pudding. It gets the most compliments on both looks and flavour and really wowed people. There are so many elements in the dish that it’s hard balancing all of them and still getting the right strength in coffee flavour.
What do you love about Blackheath?
It has that perfect balance of proximity to central London and peaceful village feel. It’s lively of an evening, with great food and drink options, yet tranquil on the Heath.
Where do you like to eat out?
I’m a huge fan of Chapters and can be found in there most weekends for breakfast. I really enjoy Buenos Aires Café on a sunny day as they open up the windows. Their meat is great but their dulce de leche desserts are to die for. I also like Gail’s Bakery for fresh bread and cakes.
Do you shop locally for ingredients?
I’m a huge fan of John Charles the butchers, the quality of the produce is phenomenal. The new greengrocers that has just opened is also amazing and I love the farmers’ market on a Sunday. The selection is superb, the traders are friendly and there’s always a great buzz.
I hear you’re involved with Movember?
I’ll be one of their ambassadors this year and we’re planning recipes and a charity auction for a private dining experience. I think it’s a hugely important charity and if we can have fun while raising awareness, then that’s great.
How did you choose your ‘tache style?
I’m a big fan of the 1920s – the clothes, music and style. My good friend sports a large ‘handlebar’ and makes moustache wax in an East London warehouse. It made sense that I grow a ‘lip weasel’ and I could only ever go for the ‘Dali’ or ‘handlebar’.
Tell us about the supperclub you’re hosting at Chapters on 20 July…
I’m really looking forward to this event. As a massive fan of Chapters and Alex’s food, it’s very exciting to be working with the team. It’s going to be a big occasion with some impressive food.
For tickets to Tony’s supperclub at Chapters (£35pp), see chaptersblackheath.com