Steve Groves is a junior sous chef at D&D London's restaurant Launceston Place. Last week he won the BBC's Masterchef: The Professionals. He spoke to Kerstin Kühn about his experience of the competition
Caterer How did you get involved in Masterchef: The Professionals?
Caterer What was it like having Michel Roux Jnr judge you throughout the competition?
SG It was an awesome experience to have someone of his calibre judge my food. I am so full of respect for him that when he complimented my cooking it was just amazing - but when he criticised it, it really made me want to improve.
Caterer What were the most difficult parts of the competition?
SG Cooking for a group of 30 Michelin-starred chefs was really daunting. The room was full of these incredible culinary legends and failure really wasn't an option. My dish was really complicated and I didn't want to let Michel Roux Jnr down because it was his food I was cooking. But the most difficult part was the initial skills and palette test. I was so incredibly nervous and didn't know what I was up against and having all those cameras around really drummed home the fact that I could make a complete fool of myself on national television.
Caterer How difficult was it being shadowed by a film crew all the time?
SG At first it was really daunting as it's a completely different kind of pressure, which I wasn't used to and it's quite strange to have someone constantly peeking over your shoulder. The cameras make you realise that you really are in the limelight but after a while you forget that they are there.
Caterer How did you feel when you found out you had won?
SG I was completely shocked. I have never won anything like this in my life and it was a really strange feeling. But of course I was absolutely delighted. In a way it was quite sad as well, though, as it was the end of an incredible journey that was really tough - physically, mentally and emotionally.
Caterer Where do you think winning Masterchef will lead you?
SG It has given me the opportunity to go into some top kitchens. For now I will stay at Launceston Place because I feel that I am still learning an awful lot from working under Tristan. But I would like to go and work at Le Gavroche in the future and learn from the best in the industry. Eventually I'd like to open my own restaurant serving British food.