MasterChef Natalie Coleman: five things you might not know

Part-time DJ from Hackney wowed the judges with her menu of lobster and scotch eggs


NATALIE COLEMAN, 29, has won the BBC's amateur cooking competition, MasterChef, in what the Daily Telegraph described as an "absurdly intense" finale.

Coleman, from Hackney, East London, beat 50 rivals to the title (not to mention the 4000 people who applied to be on the show), to defeat fellow finalists Dale Williams and Larkin Cen.

Afterwards, Coleman admitted "This is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life." Here are five things you may not know about the cockney cook:

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Her winning meal involved the humble scotch egg: The final challenge was to prepare a menu for the show's hosts, Gregg Wallace and John Torode. Natalie's three course menu included lobster and fennel, pork belly and scotch egg. Torode said Coleman understand "great food" but also "cooks for the people..."

She is a part-time DJ: Coleman said had considered a career in catering when she was a teenager, "but then I went off the idea and wanted to be a PE teacher, then a firefighter." She finally settled on a career in finance, "because I'm good at maths". She spins disks at London clubs as a part-time job and is known for her "unique style of driving minimal house, blended with playful techno." Coleman now hopes to get a job in a professional kitchen.

She credits her success to cooking for her grandfather: Coleman said she began experimenting with recipes while cooking every day for her grandfather and her disabled uncle. "My nan died when I was 16. She was a wonderful cook and used to live with my uncle and grandfather and fed them." Coleman explained she was fed up with seeing her relatives’ "freezer full of frozen pies", so decided to provide them with better nutrition.

She is only the third woman to win: MasterChef has run for nine years but two women have won prior to Coleman. Thomasina Miers came first in 2005 and Shelina Permalloo took home the prize last year. Although professional cooking is dominated by men, Coleman says she is not deterred. "I can deal with the boy banter, I’m quite a tomboy anyway," she explained.

She was involved a fatal accident: Coleman was still at teenager when a ride on the back of a friend's motorcycle turned to tragedy, The Sun reports. The bike she hitched a ride on crashed into Robin Bull, 32, and his fiancée Sarah Coles, dragging the couple 16 metres. Bull died the next day from his injuries and Cole spent weeks in intensive care. Coleman's friend Allen Shord, who was driving the bike, was drunk at the time and sentenced to three years in jail. Coleman says she is still wracked with guilt about the incident, saying "it doesn't go away."

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