A former Croydon schoolboy is one of the contestants in MasterChef 2024.

Khinley Trott is a chef who took part in the latest series before his elimination in Heat 5 in Episode 7.

Khinley went to Whitgift School in south Croydon, and has lived in Senegal, Cape Town, Ethiopia, Malawi, and the Solomon Islands.

The 19-year-old chef, studying philosophy and international relations, said the decision to enter MasterChef was to push himself, adding: “I felt like it would be the right step forward, because I’d been cooking for about a year and a half.

“So what I did with my cooking was I tried to cook a new dish every time I cooked.

“But at the same time, I found it quite difficult to find new recipes, and the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen and that kind of environment would be the best place for me to take that step forward with regards to creating my own recipes.”

Khinley’s work in the kitchen began when he was under two years old, with peeling shrimp being an early memory of his.

Khinley said his style of cooking was fusion, combining elements that people don’t expect, and the first thing he cooked in the MasterChef kitchen was a potato gnocchi and Korean stew dish.

His final dish was, as he described, “an attempt” to make salmon with poached eggs and hollandaise.

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Khinley explained: “The flat bread I tried to make wasn’t flat enough.

“The hollandaise split, so I ran out of time quite quickly and had to make a second one.

“And when I took the poached egg out of the water, it must have burst as one of the judged ended up with a poached egg without a yolk.”

At 19 years old, Khinley is the youngest contestant on this year’s MasterChef.

Khinley said: “Even though I didn’t have as much experience as some other contestants, I think the way I approached cooking made up for it.”

Khinley’s favourite thing to cook is a pork belly dish, which he said he slow cooks and then adds lot of ginger – his favourite spice.

He added: “It’s sort of a Korean-inspired sticky pork belly bites that have been slow-cooked in ginger and ginger syrup with a lot of Asian flavours, garlic and spring onions.”

His favourite dessert to make is pannacotta.

Khinley finds that “with the right timescale, it’s not particularly complicated.

He recalled how in October 2023, in order to master the dessert, he made 24 in a month and ate them all.

Khinley came in 40th place alongside Purley strategy manager Yogita Nagara, and following his time on the show, he has futher hopes and ambitions, and said: “I want to experience more cultures through the medium of cooking, either by travelling to different places and trying local food.

“Alternatively, I’ll go to various restaurants that represent different cuisines within the UK.

“And given my age and the fact I’m still at university, I want to inspire students as well because a lot of students are more daunted by the idea of cooking in the first place without having tried it.”