The only female finalist in BBC Two’s MasterChef: The Professionals went back to her roots as she made a special visit to Luton last week.
Louisa Ellis, 22, a former Ashcroft High pupil, delighted her mother, Charmaine, when she came home to meet the town’s biggest cooking show fans.
The ‘final four’ television contestant made a trip to Charmaine’s workplace, Home Instead Luton and Central Bedfordshire, where she met her mother’s colleagues who are all championing the young chef.
Charmaine said: “We are bursting with pride, absolutely bursting! It seems surreal watching her on the TV and she’s grown in confidence.
“I started working full time when Louisa was about 13 or 14 and some nights when I came in she would have cooked the dinner - there would be spice or extra flavours. She was always experimenting.
“Louisa took a GCSE in cooking and her tutor was exceptional, but the teacher has left now - I hope she’s watching, and thinking ‘I taught that young lady’.
“Louisa feeds on learning. One of her goals is to travel round the world and cook.”
Louisa has a Catering NVQ from Barnfield College and after several successful jobs as a chef, she now works in a fine dining restaurant called ‘The Wilderness’ in Birmingham.
Maria Collins, director of Home Instead, said: “Louisa looks up to her mum as she is very creative; Charmaine is a great cook, and prior to joining our company worked in the catering world.”
The penultimate episode is tonight at 8pm on BBC Two. Will Louisa make the final three?
The last episode is on Thursday at 8pm.