UP CLOSE: With Ealing’s talented MasterChef contestant

  Posted: 22.11.21 at 17:48 by Hannah Davenport

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Acton’s culinary queen and head chef at Ealing restaurant Meadow shared her experience of feeling the heat when she appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals last week.

Elena Frattura, 25, made it to the end of the Quarter Finals last Thursday and talked about her “weird” experience on the hit cooking show, and the huge support she received from the local community.

“It was weird”, Elena, from Acton, told Nub News. “It was the best experience I have had cooking wise and meeting everyone, but at the same time it's very nerve-wracking.

“It’s not stressful, it's more that you’re nervous because you're putting yourself out there.

“You get used to the cameras quite quickly and I learnt a few different techniques from other chefs on the show.”

She added: “It’s given me a lot more confidence receiving the feedback and the support that I did while I was there.

Elena is the head chef at restaurant Meadow in Ealing. (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

“It was insane the amount of positive support I got, so I think it's boosted my confidence quite a bit.”

MasterChef was the cherry on top of an already glowing resume.

After completing a three-year culinary course at the University of West London, Elena went to work at La Trompette in Chiswick for over a year.

After two months out travelling - “because it was hard work!” – Elena worked at Heston Blumenthal’s gastropub, Crown at Bray, then helped previous Great British Menu winner, Pip Lacey open her restaurant Hicce.

On to Frog, Adam Handling’s restaurant, then MasterChef and now back to her home town Ealing.

Elena in action. Her twin sister Emily is a pastry chef and the owner of a successful cake business in Ealing. (Image: BBC/Shine TV)

Elena comes from an Italian family of strong cooks, with her twin sister Emily a pastry chef and the owner of a successful cake business in Ealing.

Elena said: “My granddad has always been a chef, and my nan has always been into home cooking.

“Every time I was sick from school my parents would leave me at my grandparents’ and we'd either bake a cake or I'd help my grandad make sausages.

“My mum is also a very good cook and if she was holding a party or a family gathering I would always jump in and help her and it (my passion) just started from there really.”

Meadow is her first time as a head chef and she’s now been on the job for four months.

“It's good with Meadow because I get to put my own spin on it using what I have learnt from my family and put it into the menu.

“It’s also hard work and there was a lot to learn on the spot, but I think I've done a good job surviving!”

Work hard and love what you do were the main pieces of advice Elena shared for young people going into the catering industry.

She said: “If you put in the work then it becomes more rewarding. If you're going into the hospitality industry you need to be committed.

“If you work hard and you have a passion you can go a long way.”

Her future wish is to open a restaurant with her sister near Acton, something they have hoped to do together since they were kids.

Elena currently works full-time at Meadow restaurant, which you can find at 5-6 The Green, Ealing.

MasterChef: The Professionals is back on BBC One this evening at 8:30. You can watch Elena in episodes seven and eight of season 14 on iplayer.

Find her sister Emily’s Cake Company, here.

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