A MERIDEN beauty salon owner is one step closer to becoming Masterchef champion after wowing judges and diners.
Pookie claimed her spot in the final eight with her My Bird’s Nest starter which was based on the Thai street food dish basil chicken.
During Tuesday’s show Pookie and her fellow semi-finalists were given a first taste of what it’s like to work in a restaurant setting as the Masterchef kitchen turned professional for the day with judge John Torode running the pass.
The contestants were split into groups and created a three-course meal for 20 past MasterChef quarter finalists, semi-finalists and finalists.
Pookie alongside Olayemi and Eddie were first to face the diners with their starters.
Speaking on the show Pookie said: “I am so happy to be one of the semi-finalists.
“I am loving every moment of it, I love bringing out my creativity – bringing out my imagination.”
My Bird’s Nest was a hit not only with the diners but also judges Greg Wallace and John who described it as ‘amazing’.
Pookie, a mass communications, PR and advertising graduate, grew up in Bangkok before moving to the UK after earning her degree and while she has Thai-Chinese heritage she said she does not limit herself to Thai-Chinese food.
The 45-year-old said: “I am Thai with Chinese heritage and although this has a huge influence on my cooking, I don’t limit myself to Thai-Chinese food.
“I like cooking international foods but love introducing my own style with all the foods I’ve cooked.
“Most of all I want my food to be flavoursome, delicious, fun and put a smile on people’s faces.”
The next round of the semi-final will air on BBC One on Thursday (April 28) where the remaining eight will complete an invention test before two more are asked to leave and the rest go on to cook at a special dinner to celebrate the Royal British Legion’s 100th anniversary in London.
One more will leave on Friday after the third round of the semi-final where contestants will be asked to create a dish inspired by the song Buttery Biscuit Bass.
The final five will then battle it out in the show’s Finals Week.