After wowing judges with his deliciously-succulent meals, a member of the local Grovehill Animal Trust has been crowned winner of a TV cooking competition.
Taking part in this year’s ‘Farm to Feast’ on the the BBC, Richard ‘Ricky’ Robinson impressed the panel, Michelin star chef, Danni Barry and food critic, Joris Minne, with his small dish of whipped feta and oyster mushrooms on toast with poached eggs and almonds, followed by a large dinner comprised of Dexter’s beef with red wine gravy, wilted spinach, nutmeg potato gratin and lovely cherry tomatoes.
Hosted by Eamonn Holmes, the competition featured seven talented cooks from throughout the North who spent a week living together in Co Fermanagh’s stunning Crom Castle as they battled it out in the kitchen, using award-winning produce from local farms and fisheries to make their delightful dishes.
Speaking to the ‘Herald, Ricky, now living in Sixmilecross, said that the incredible journey has certainly been tough – but nonetheless, absolutely rewarding.
“The whole thing feels really bizarre, to be honest!” he said.
“It’s been a crazy journey; I found it really hard at times.
“It was definitely a tough week, but to get to the end of the week – never mind winning it – was amazing and I’m quite overwhelmed.”
Taking home the prestigious ‘Farm to Feast: Best Dish Wins’ trophy, Ricky posts often on his Instagram page, ‘@tantrumsandsaucepans’, where he regularly shares some of his filling feasts and helpful cooking tips.
And, indeed, it was through this social media page that Ricky was invited to take part in the competition.
Describing his plans for the future, Ricky said, “I have no expectations of what happens next.
“I did the show for the experience of it; it was filmed last May following the previous lockdowns and restrictions.
“I still have my day job, and I’m continuing to do my thing on Instagram, but I suppose that my ultimate goal is to be to release my own cook book some day.”
Ricky also spoke of his relationships with fellow contestants following his victory on the show.
“I want to thank them all,” Ricky explained. “They were all so fantastic, and we all became very close.
“I couldn’t have got through it without them; they were all so supportive.
“We’ve all since stayed in touch in a group chat, Eamonn and all, who was so supportive of us all throughout the week, which is brilliant.”
The show is still ongoing, airing on BBC One every Friday night, with the full series available now for streaming on BBC iPlayer. Make sure and tune in to support Ricky, and enjoy the incredible meals whipped up with love by each contestant.