Friday night dinners and Jewish family life were the inspiration behind MasterChef quarter-finalist Michaela Jay’s run in the BBC1 culinary competition.
Ms Jay, 27, who crashed out on Monday after her fillet stake with parsnip purée failed to clinch her a spot in the semis, said it had been a “dream come true” to go so far in the contest.
Ms Jay said: “Coming from a Jewish household, a culture of communal cooking and eating has characterised my upbringing. Food sits as a centre point of all my family events whether that be Friday night dinner, Jewish festivals, or visiting restaurants for special occasions.
“I cook dishes from these experiences but also love to try new dishes inspired by other cultures and cuisines.”
Mrs Jay, who lives with her boyfriend in Enfield, North London, added that taking part in the competition had been “an absolute rollercoaster of emotions”.
Writing on Instagram, she said: “Thank you to everyone who has messaged me and supported me, thank you to all my friends in heat three and thank you to [judges] John Torode, Gregg Wallace and Jimi Famurewa for some really amazing comments on my food — feeling very very very happy and still in a bubble.”
Restaurant writer Mr Famurewa told the contestant that her “food critic” dish could go on a professional menu.
Ms Jay said it was “absolutely crazy” to receive that level of praise.