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Former West Berkshire pupil reaches semi-finals of MasterChef

'Faultless' Matthew Ryle, 24, impresses after inflating a pig's bladder with... a bike pump

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas

fiona.tomas@newburynews.co.uk

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Former West Berkshire pupil reaches semi-finals of MasterChef

A FORMER West Berkshire school boy has defied his young age to stun some of the country’s top chefs en route to securing a place in the semi-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Matthew Ryle once again impressed on last night’s popular TV cookery show with an exquisite dish which blew the kitchen’s chefs away.

The 24-year-old showed tremendous audacity with his risky concoction of poulet en vessie – which saw him cook a chicken breast inside an inflated pig’s bladder.

Earlier in the programme, which was aired on BBC 2, Mr Ryle teamed up with four of his fellow contestants to cook a three-course, fine-dining VIP menu for guests at Trinity House in the City of London.

Pairing up with head chef and fellow contestant and contract catering chef Michelle, Mr Ryle produced a herb-scented roast quail-based starter which judges commended as “tough, but worth it.”

The contestants then returned to the MasterChef kitchen as individuals to cook a dish which would be exceptional enough to impress the show’s judges, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace.

Topped with black truffle shavings, served with a pomme Anna, asparagus, morels, peas, lemon gel, pea puree and a truffle and Madeira sauce, the trio were taken aback by the boldness of Mr Ryle who, despite being the youngest chef left in the competition, was attempting a dish which Mrs Galetti hadn’t seen attempted on the show in the years.

The former Theale Green pupil used a bicycle pump to inflate the bladder, rather than blowing it up manually, which sparked surprise and gleeful comments from the judges.

When asked by Michelin chef Marcus Wareing why he didn’t want to traditionally inflate the bladder as done ‘back in the day’, with the mouth, Mr Ryle responded: “Well, yeah, I didn’t fancy getting my lips around a bladder, so I’ve improvised and brought my bike pump in today.”

The risky dish meant that Mr Ryle had to constantly base the bladder or risk it drying out, leading it to explode at any given moment.

But the daring youngster, who trained at Michelin-starred restaurant L'Ortolan in Shinfield, said he wanted to use the training in his formative days to show off what he was capable of.

Mr Wareing commended his dish as a “piece of art” which was “beautifully refined”, while Mr Wallace hailed it as “off-the-scale divine.”

Mrs Galetti said: “It is the first time in ten years that I’ve seen a chef brave enough to come in here and cook this dish.

“It’s just something to really appreciate.

“I can’t fault it. I absolutely love it.”

Mr Ryle said he was completely blown away by the judges’ comments, adding: “It’s literally the dream.”

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