Famous for her huge beehive and her gorgeous twists on homely cooking, Stacie Stewart, 34, now lives in Brighton with her boyfriend Ryan
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COOKING AND WHY DID YOU ENTER MASTERCHEF?
I started cooking on a Friday night for my family back home in Sunderland. I cooked really traditional things like syrup puddings and devilled kidneys. I entered Masterchef (Stacie was a finalist in the 2010 show) because I just loved the programme. Every year, I feel the same excitement as I see the next load of contestants. It’s a fantastic show and John and Gregg are brilliant too.
YOU MADE YOUR NAME WITH YOUR HEARTY, TRADITIONAL FOOD BUT YOU’RE NOW MORE INTO ‘CLEAN’EATING? HOW COME?
After I appeared on Food Glorious Food, I found myself putting on weight so I went on a real health drive. I cook very healthily and eat a lot of eggs, fish, chicken, brown rice and vegetables during the week. But I still love heavier dishes and I adore baking too. I bake fresh bread once a week. As I don’t eat so much of it any more, it’s extra important to me that it’s great quality. I do a fantastic sourdough that toasts beautifully.
YOU’RE MULTI-TALENTED. TELL US ABOUT ALL YOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORK?
I set up my café and deli Eat Naked with Ryan and I work there every day. I do pop-ups, commercial hook-up, I’ve got another cook book in the works and I also DJ! I’m a real sixties and Northern Soul fan. That got really busy so I only do a couple of nights a month now. I love the modern way of working that means you can do lots of different things. I never get bored, every day is different and I love the variety.
YOU’VE TEAMED UP WITH NEFF TO SUPPORT THEIR COOKAHOLICS SCHEME, TELL US MORE!
Cookaholics is a scheme run by NEFF, to celebrate great cooks. NEFF are looking for people who love cooking to enter the competition to join the Cookhaholics and take part in a live cook-off at this year’s Big Feastival. All the cookaholics get an early look at new products from NEFF and feature in their ads
YOU’RE ALL ABOUT TRADITIONAL – WITH-A-TWIST. GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES OF YOUR FAVOURITES!
I love to cook is fish pie and I like to give it a twist by making it with a crumble topping instead of mash and by adding some black pudding. After all, scallops and black pudding are a classic combo, so this is just another take on that. It’s gorgeous and a bit decadent.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THIS SUMMER AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
I’m nice and busy and I love living in Brighton. It was a big move down from Sunderland but I love the food and music scene down here. It’s great in the summer as when we’ve finished our lunchtime service, we pack up the leftovers and head to the beach. I love fresh summery flavours and cooking things like sweetcorn fritters with a gorgeous fresh avocado salsa.
As for the future, I’d love to open another café here soon and get my book published!
- To find out more about Neff’s cookaholics, go to www.nextcookaholic.co.uk/stacie-stewart/