Stephen’s cooking up a storm in Oz

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AFORMER Macclesfield stu­dent now living Down Un­der has found fame as a con­tes­tant on MasterChef Australia.

Stephen Rooney, 31, made it through to the fi­nal 24 af­ter blow­ing judges away with his twist on the tra­di­tional Sun­day roast.

He is now be­ing put through his paces against some of the best am­a­teur cooks in the con­ti­nent on the hit TV show.

Stephen is a for­mer stu­dent at Fal­li­b­roome Academy.

Af­ter a stint trav­el­ling in South Amer­ica and work­ing in New Zealand, he and his long-term girl­friend Georgina set­tled in Australia in 2008.

Stephen quit his job as a re­cruit­ment spe­cial­ist to try and win MasterChef Australia.

He said: “I won­dered whether if I might be too old for a ca­reer change, but I have now left a se­cure job be­hind, crav­ing cre­ativ­ity and a new chal­lenge in food.

“I hope that com­pet­ing on the show will be the leg up I need to crack a new in­dus­try.”

Stephen was en­cour­aged to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion by Georgina.

Time apart dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion will be tough for the cou­ple, but they have suc­cess­fully en­dured a long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship be­fore.

A year af­ter they made the move to Syd­ney, Georgina re­turned to the UK for three years to study.

Stephen got his pas­sion for food from mum An­gela and has been cooking since he was 16.

His go-to dishes in­clude Bri­tish, French and Ital­ian clas­sics.

Stephen’s ul­ti­mate dream is to cook for the Rolling Stones in his own restau­rant with a huge kitchen gar­den.

So far Stephen has sur­vived the first five episodes.

In their first chal­lenge, the contestants had 75 min­utes to make a savoury dish to im­press judges to make the cut.

Then came a Mys­tery Box chal­lenge and a team chal­lenge.

As the com­pe­ti­tion con­tin­ues lead­ing lights of the in­dus­try in­clud­ing He­ston Blu­men­thal, Mas­simo Bot­tura, Sat Bains, Maggie Beer, Marco Pierre White, Curtis Stone and Mar­cus Ware­ing will join in to ramp up the pres­sure.

The stakes are high with a prize of $250,000, an Alfa Romeo Gi­uli­etta and work in work in some of Australia’s best kitchens.

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