Hitchin’s Celebrity Masterchef winner Emma Kennedy speak to the Comet

THE winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2012 said the experience was so intense it “verged on horrific”.

Actor and author Emma Kennedy, a former pupil of Whitehill Junior School and Hitchin Girls’ School, wowed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with a winning three-course menu of pea, mint and ricotta ravioli, pan fried turbot and poached meringue.

Of her win, Emma said: “I’m delighted and astonished. I didn’t think I was remotely going to win. I thought I would be in MasterChef for a week tops.”

She continued: “The thing I found the most stressful were the eliminations. I just found them deeply upsetting. We had made really good friends and it was horrible seeing people go home.

“The final week was so intense. You are just going at 100 miles an hour. It’s all a blur really.”

Asked what she found most difficult, Emma said: “Cooking to time. It verged on horrific. The judges are telling you you have five minutes left and all you want to do is turn round and punch them to the floor.”

Emma lived in Hitchin from the age of six and, although no longer a resident, goes back to the town every Sunday to see her parents, who still live in the same house on London Road.

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The town holds fond memories for Emma. “I was so happy at Hitchin Girls’ School,” she said. “I loved going to school and was in all the sports teams.”