Tony Rodd, our principle architectural recruitment consultant in our London office has recently taken part in the latest series of MasterChef, making his way to the final three.

He learned about cookery from his mother and gran, who would often cater for large groups of family and friends. He started cooking at 18, but got serious about it only in the past few years. Please find below his recent interview with The Daily Mirror.

What is your ultimate ambition?

I’d love to have my own jazz bar with a small restaurant. Nothing big, but something to keep me busy in my retirement. In the short-term though, I’d like to set up a private catering business for dinner parties and maybe do the odd pop-up restaurant.

Who are your ideal dinner party guests?

I would invite Sandy Toksvig for her wit and encyclopaedic knowledge, Stewart Lee for his dry sense of humour and the late Nina Simone for her musical talent. Renzo Piano would be there for his architectural magnificence and film star Emma Watson would round off the guests.

If you were on Death Row, what would you choose for your final meal?

It has to be liver and bacon with mash and onion gravy. It’s my comfort meal and reminds me of home.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate at Roux at Parliament Square a few years ago. Our starter was a truffle risotto with pork belly. The dish was simple but stunning. The pork melted in the mouth and the risotto was rich and earthy. I’m ashamed to say I licked the bowl.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’ve always said I’ll eat anything once – generally if there’s an unusual ingredient on a menu, I’ll choose it. As a boy I went on a school trip to France and when we sat down to dinner the rumour spread that the meat was horse. That was strange.

What is your worst culinary disaster, either on the show or at home?

I still try not to think about the fish dish I served Monica Galetti. It had very few redeeming elements (and I’m being very generous in saying that). I was devastated to serve that plate of food and it really knocked my confidence in the competition.

Who was most helpful to you, Gregg or John?

John was by far the most helpful in the kitchen, with his knowledge of technique and ingredients. But I loved having Gregg nearby, because he keeps your spirits high.