Britain’s Best Home Cook: meet the contestants

Mary Berry and her fellow judges will be casting their eye over this lot across the new BBC One series.
Mary Berry and her fellow judges will be casting their eye over this lot across the new BBC One series. Mary Berry and her fellow judges will be casting their eye over this lot across the new BBC One series.

Ten skilled home cooks will battle it out in the kitchen to be crowned the nation’s best home cook in new BBC One show Britain’s Best Home Cook.

The eight-part series will be judged by Mary Berry, Chris Bavin and Dan Doherty, while Claudia Winkleman presents.

The hopefuls are to live in a shared house for the duration of the competition.

Here are the 10 contestants:

Katie Katie (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

1. Katie

Katie, a 32-year-old 999 police emergency call handler and dispatcher, lives in Neath, Wales.

She always cooked with her mother in her younger years, but fell out of love with it until she met husband Alan, which reignited her passion for home cooking.

Proud of her Welsh heritage and family recipes – some of which are three or four generations old – Katie describes herself as an “everyday home cook” who enjoys dishes such as stews and casseroles.

Dipa Dipa (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

2. Dipa

Dipa, a 44-year-old civil servant, lives in Wolverhampton.

She was interested in cooking from a young age and was making curries at the age of 11. She says her father’s Kenyan heritage and her mother’s Indian heritage inspire her, and she enjoys cooking with spices.

Dipa says she never uses cook books and relies purely on her instincts, simple ingredients and straightforward methods to feed her husband and three children.

Fiona Fiona (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

3. Fiona

Fiona, a 59-year-old retired shop keeper, lives in County Down, Northern Ireland.

She started collecting Robert Carrier Cookery magazines when she was 15, turning her hobby into an “obsession”.

Fiona says loves cooking homely, farmhouse kitchen-style fare for her four sons, two daughters and her husband, and creating family-pleasing feasts.

Cyrus Cyrus (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

4. Cyrus

Cyrus, a 27-year-old wine consultant and entrepreneur, lives in York.

He began cooking when he was 16, and says he enjoys creating French and Italian dishes.

Cyrus says the process of combining ingredients and flavours to create plates of food is what fascinates him, and he strives to be ambitious in his home cooking.

Josie Josie (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

5. Josie

Josie, a 37-year-old wealth client executive at a bank, lives in Glasgow.

She became intrigued in cooking at a young age while watching her grandparents and mother in the kitchen, and became a fan of cooking herself when she was once asked to peel an onion.

Originally from the Philippines, Josie says that certain recipes remind her of being back there, and she loves to recreate her favourite Filipino dishes while priding herself on being an instinctive cook who never follows recipes.

Philip Philip (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

6. Philip

Philip, a 48-year-old maths teacher, lives in Surrey.

Having grown up in the 1970s, traditional British cuisine from that era is what he likes to cook the most, from a prawn cocktail to a roast dinner, or a Black Forest gateau.

Philip says Delia’s Complete Cookery Course is still his cookery book bible, as it was a huge source of inspiration while growing up.

Pippa Pippa (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

7. Pippa

Pippa, a 28-year-old oncology research biobank technician, lives in Salford.

She was taught to cook by her grandma who made really homely food, and her granddad used to take her to a dim sum restaurant with a Chinese supermarket underneath which she would peruse.

Pippa says it was this that drew her to cooking and her love of Asian food.

Q Q (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

8. Q

Q, a 38-year-old children’s A&E nurse, lives in Balcombe, West Sussex.

Originally from Slovakia, where food was central to her family’s life, she says food is never far from her thoughts and that she still cooks with her mother’s knife.

Q describes her style of home cooking as “very continental with French influences using simple ingredients”.

Tobi Tobi (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

9. Tobi

Tobi, a 27-year-old compliance manager, lives in London.

He started cooking with his mum and gran when at the age of seven, and became the stand-in cook for his three brothers whenever his parents were busy.

Tobi says cooking is in his soul, and that he loves cooking food inspired by his British Nigerian heritage as well as his love of French cuisine.

Trevor Trevor (Des Willie/BBC) (Des Willie/BBC/KEO)

10. Trevor

Trevor, a 29-year-old farmer, lives in Kent.

His love of cooking came from his mum, grandmother and Auntie Irene, who were all keen cooks.

Trevor says his farming background inspires him, and that he has a strong appreciation of ingredients and the time and effort that goes into producing them. He enjoys cooking with spices and loves bold flavours in his home cooking.