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High Wycombe chef to compete on new show starring Nigella tonight
A HIGH Wycombe chef, who is holding a pop up restaurant this weekend, will star in a new Channel 4 show tonight.
Justin Akpa is one of 25 contestants who will be competing on The Taste, mentored by Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Anthony Bourdain.
He will be competing with 24 amateur and professional cooks and chefs to become The Taste winner 2014.
He moved to High Wycombe last September and this Friday and Saturday will be holding a pop up supper club event at Arts4Every1 in Desborough Road, High Wycombe.
Justin, 28, said of being on the show: "Nervous doesn't even describe how I felt. Food is one of those very subjective things. "I love my food and I stand by it but you never know how people are going to react.
"It is very nerve racking putting your food in front of people you have watched and been inspired by."
Justin only started training as a chef three years ago. Prior to this he worked in security and had studied photography and video at De Monfort University in Leicester.
He said: "I realised I couldn't be a nightclub bouncer for the rest of my life. Three years ago at the age of 25 I decided I needed to do something else.
"I picked up a local prospectus and looked at courses they had available."
He did a fast track level 2 diploma in professional cookery and hospitality at Leicester Catering College.
He funded his way through college working in kitchens in Leicester and once he finished he moved to London and carried on his training at The Ivy in London.
He then went to Kilworth House Hotel and Theatre.
Justin moved to High Wycombe to be near his partner, Mary Jo Tomori, and he is currently temping.
He is holding his first supper club this weekend at Arts4Every1. He said: "I am really excited about this event- it is a very much a community event. I hope it will become a regular event.
"It is celebrating the season's best."
Tickets are £35 and includes a cocktail and canapé reception, amuse bouche, a four course meal, coffee and petit fours, live musical entertainment and an art exhibition. For more information go to www.justpoppedup.com.
Taste starts tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.
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