12 November 2018

Masterchef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis has been sharing her talent with students at the latest Loughborough College high profile guest chef evening.

Louisa beat thousands of applicants to compete against 48 chefs from across the country to reach the 2017 final of the successful TV show and was told by judge Monica Galetti, “Wherever you’re working now, they can count themselves damn lucky to have you in that kitchen”. She has worked in some of the country’s top Michelin-starred restaurants and took a break from her highly successful supper club and events business to bring her expertise to the sold out College Radmoor Restaurant – with proceeds going to her chosen charity, Britten Street Hub CIC.

Loughborough College Hospitality and Catering students joined Louisa in the kitchen and front of house for the day and evening to help prepare and serve a five course tasting menu. Dishes included roasted cauliflower, wild mushrooms, truffle and yeast flakes; roasted lamb loin, Anna potato, caramelised onion, black garlic puree and nasturtium; soy glazed aubergine, chive oil, burrata cheese and tomato essence and pear and salted caramel galette.

Louisa said: “When I was at College in Luton we hardly got any ‘real’ experience or insight into the life of a chef so now I want to do all I can, through my experience, to give students an idea of what’s required by the industry. If anything I do can help them in their future career then I’m happy.

“Not everyone in our industry has such a great time. The long hours and environment in some kitchens can take their toll. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it and that’s why I am trying to raise awareness and funds for Britten Street and their mental health and wellbeing services.

“My career has included working at Michelin-starred restaurants like Sat Bains and Adam’s and now I have my own business as a private chef which is so much fun, whether I am creating menus for events or cooking at dinner parties it’s taking me all over the country – and beyond. I spent a week at a chateau in France cooking for 25 vegetarians, which was amazing.”

“It was a long day of preparation and then service in the evening but I really enjoyed every minute of working with Louisa and learnt so much,” added Loughborough College Hospitality and Catering student Kieran Rudolph. “I picked up so many new skills and it was brilliant to help bring her menu together. There was definitely a positive response from the diners, every plate was empty.

“Watching Louisa so driven by her belief in herself and her ability was really inspirational to me – it’s actually given me more confidence in myself.”

“We had 60 diners, there was a lot of pressure for the eight students we had in the kitchen and seven in the restaurant but Louisa was so calm and reassuring with every one of them,” said Loughborough College Chef lecturer and hospitality and catering lead Darren Creed. “She was the perfect example of what the industry is trying to move towards, a new breed of chef who doesn’t need to scream and shout. The evening was a fantastic success and we raised more than £1,000 for Louisa’s charity.”