Name: Larkin Cen
Larkin’s parents run the Chinese takeaway his grandfather originally setup in Cardiff. But his parents tried to keep him away from cooking so that he would focus more on his studies, although he almost dropped out of law school in the second year to become a chef.
Despite his passion for food, Larkin’s long hours at work meant he didn’t have much time to make sophisticated dishes at home. He admits to never having made a desert before MasterChef and said he had three intense weeks of preparing for the show where he taught himself the basics like mayonnaise and pastry.
As for his most successful dish to date, smoked paella with citrus air, he says the idea came to him on the train back from the last round of MasterChef. “I just had it in my head and I developed from there really. I noted down with pencil on a notepad how I wanted it to look and then as soon as I got home that evening I went straight to the supermarket to buy some paella rice. It was the first time I had cooked paella.”