It’s the gripping TV cookery show that people cannot get enough of.
And now one of the Highland capital’s own is set to turn up the heat in the kitchen as she enters the next round of MasterChef 2022.
Marketing consultant Sarah Rankin (47) returns to screens tomorrow (Tues) on BBC One to take part in the semi-finals.
All this week she will battle the other remaining contestants to see if she is fit to be crowned the UK’s newest culinary champion.
Speaking to the Courier Sarah, who was born and raised in Inverness, revealed what it’s really like behind the scenes.
The mother of two said: “It’s not like anything you’ve done before. It’s exactly how it looks on TV.
“You really feel the weight of expectation on you. It’s such an iconic place. And John Torode and Gregg Wallace are standing there – in real life.
“They are just like you see on the show – they are great, they are very warm.
“They are there to critique you but it’s done in a very warm way. You get feedback when things are not right but it’s done to support you. Everything is a learning experience.”
She added: “I’m pretty traditional.
“Modern British, if you want to put a label on it. I do cook with a lot of game.
“That’s just because I live in Perthshire and there’s a lot of it around. It’s easy to come across.
“Venison was a no-brainer for me. That task was the signature dish and I was always going to choose that over beef.”
As to what to expect this week, Sarah said fans will need to tune in at 8pm.
She said: “My goal when I started this was not to go home first. I just wanted to be myself and cook things that I would actually eat. I’m just being myself and cooking things I love to eat.
“There’s some fun challenges coming up so I’m looking forward to see how it looks myself.
“You kind of forget really basic things. And the time is the time – so there is a pressure which is hard. And it’s all new equipment.
“It is very stressful.”
But when it comes to comfort food Sarah has a simpler taste than her previous dishes of coconut panna cotta and venison.
Asked what her “go to” is, she said: “Gin and tonic and crisps. Salt and vinegar all the time. Either that or my mum’s mac and cheese.”
And she added that support from her home city has been fantastic.
She said: “I’ve not lived in Inverness for a long time but I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the support. I’m so grateful.”
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