Dunmow head chef on his ‘surreal’ MasterChef experience

Alex Webb of Great Dunmow created a main course and a dessert for MasterChef judges. Picture: MASTERCHEF

Alex Webb of Great Dunmow created a main course and a dessert for MasterChef judges. Picture: MASTERCHEF - Credit: MasterChef

A Dunmow head chef has been in the MasterChef kitchen, and said the once in a lifetime opportunity was the most nervous he’s ever been.

The episode of MasterChef: The Professionals with Alex Webb aired on Tuesday, and is available to watch again on BBC iPlayer.

Alex is normally found in the kitchen of Square 1 Restaurant on the High Street.

He said of the show: “I have never felt so nervous in all my life. I think it was the cameras.

“The judges, Marcus and Monica, you see them on TV. They were trying your food.

“The Skills Test - it was surreal being in that MasterChef kitchen. Once you are there, it’s a really ‘wow’ moment.”

To not spoil anyone’s viewing fun, Alex kept tight lipped about what he cooked or how he faired in the contest.

But like all contestants he created a main dish and a dessert.

Most Read

In the show, 32 professional chefs over six weeks strive to demonstrate they are the best.

Four professional chefs per set are put to the test and the strongest two contestants go through to the next round.

The judges are Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, highly-regarded chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.

Alex started his life in Dunmow, and was a pupil at Helena Romanes School. His first job was at Square 1 where he washed the pots. He went on to work in London for eight years, working in the kitchens of high end establishments including The Savoy Hotel and The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, before he returned to Dunmow and was offered the role of head chef.

Spencer Hewitt, the owner of Square 1, encouraged Alex to apply for the show.

Alex - also known as Chef Webb - is going to be in charge on Christmas Day in the restaurant this year with a six course menu. You can follow him on Instagram or through his website at https://chefwebb.com/

The restaurant is doing take-aways on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during lockdown.

Alex said the Broadcast’s Shop Local campaign was relevant and timely, as community support makes a difference to independent businesses including those in the hospitality industry.

“It’s important to shop locally. It helps everyone out in the town.”