27/04/2013 15:45 | By Lucy Mapstone, editor, MSN Celebrity

MasterChef 2013: which of the finalists is going to win?

It’ll be Wales against east London in the final of hit TV cooking show MasterChef

Gregg Wallace and John Torode with the MasterChef 2013 finalists (© BBC)

Gregg Wallace and John Torode with the MasterChef 2013 finalists: Larkin Cen, Natalie Coleman, Dale Williams

Cooking doesn’t get tougher than this. It really doesn’t, and the three finalists of this year’s series of MasterChef are about to find out just how tough it can get. But what of the three lucky (and talented) amateur chefs who have made it into the final?

Gregg Wallace and John Torode’s top three have battled their way through difficult challenges, including feeding 12 of the UK’s toughest food critics, catering for hundreds of hungry workers and having to create top-notch breakfast dishes out of a pile of random ingredients.

However, Larkin Cen, Natalie Coleman and Dale Williams have managed to keep their places in the coveted TV cooking competition through thick, thin and dropped soufflés. The last person to leave the show in the semi-final, Saira Hamilton, exited the show after not quite living up to expectations.

It looks like its Wales v east London in the final: both Dale and Larkin hail from Cardiff, and Natalie is an east London girl through and through.

Next week’s final episodes of the show will see the three young wannabe chefs (all of them are in their late-20s) head to Italy to fight for their right to win the competition. We can’t wait. The final of MasterChef is possibly the most tense of all TV talent show finals: X Factor might be nerve-wracking, but when it comes to singing versus plates of fiddly food in epic locations with picky guests and foodie judges, it’s a whole other level.

And what about the finalists? Here’s a bit about each of the three potential winners of MasterChef.

MasterChef finalists L-R: Larkin Cen, Natalie Coleman and Dale Williams (© BBC)

MasterChef finalists L-R: Larkin Cen, Natalie Coleman and Dale Williams


Larkin Cen

Larkin, 28, from Cardiff in Wales, has wowed throughout the competition with his unique cooking techniques and sometimes daring food combinations. He grew up above his parents’ Chinese takeaway and now works as a solicitor in Bristol. He made huge waves in the competition from the very start with his bold moves and using unusual methods with his food – he impressed John and Gregg from the beginning. He’s at his best when he’s producing Asian food.

However, in the latter stages of the contest, he’s suffered a few setbacks, such as producing a fail of a white chocolate soufflé in a mango for Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing (“I’m not going to eat that,” he declared) and dropping another soufflé in the semi-finals while feeding top food critics. Can he go the distance in MasterChef and take the winning title?

Follow him on Twitter: @larkincen

Natalie Coleman

Natalie, 29, is a DJ from Hackney in east London and describes herself on Twitter as a ‘techno lovin’ foody’. At the start of the competition she seemed unassuming and shy, but Gregg and John were constantly impressed with her consistency and knack for putting together incredible flavours and delicate plates of fancy food. However, she came out of her shell when it came to the group catering challenges and she took the lead.

Ever since, she has been impressing with her dainty dishes and flavourful edible combinations. She too has had a few minor setbacks, such as almost breaking down in tears during a challenge at The Savoy, feeding 12 Bond girls, but she’s always managed to pull it back. She flourishes with classic-style dishes with her trademark Natalie twist and punchy, offbeat flavours.

Follow Natalie on Twitter: @NatalieColeman1

Dale Williams

Dale, 28, from Cardiff in Wales, is quite the fine food connoisseur. Despite coming from the same city as his rival Larkin, he was raised in the opposite end of the Welsh city.  He currently works as a recruitment consultant and is keen to work in the food production industry; although he recently admitted he doesn’t actually want to become a professional chef.

Dale’s great and putting together classic, elegant dishes but his food has had its ups and downs: when he does it right, he produces some of the most gorgeous plates of food ever seen on MasterChef, but when he gets it wrong (for example, cooking razor clams incorrectly for Marcus Wareing), he falls apart. But he’s made it into the final three of the TV cookery show and we’re looking forward to a few more impressive dishes!

Follow Dale on Twitter: @DaleWills9

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Watch the MasterChef final episodes next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm on BBC1.

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