When it comes to cooking, it’s all Greek to the new winner of Celebrity MasterChef. Actor and presenter of TV’s The Real Hustle, Alexis Conran used his Mediterranean background to scoop the coveted title.

“I wanted to make something that tasted of Greece,” he explains. “The flavour of the sea with octopus, the saltines and oregano flavours in the stuffed chicken and the sweet cinnamon nuts with yoghurt to finish. All basic flavours in Greek cooking. The hard part was to make them look respectable on a plate!”

Although he enjoys being in the kitchen, Alexis never expected for one minute that he might win. “I’ve always loved cooking,” he continues. “It’s one thing that I knew I wouldn’t embarrass myself with … not like dancing! My aim was to not be the first one out but then after every stage, you just want to get to the next stage and then the next and so on. Before you know it you’ve made the final three!

“It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. It’s the combination of the unknown challenges with the mystery boxes and invention tests along with the time pressure. Added to that cooking in an alien kitchen makes for a perfect stress scenario!” Alexis now hopes to take his cooking further.

“Maybe a book or a TV show where I can lift the lid on what proper Greek food is all about. It is a cuisine that is much misunderstood and for the most part unknown in the UK. I mean hummus is not even Greek!” he laughs.

Here, Alexis shares his recipe for pan-fried sea bream. “This was the first recipe I put together for MasterChef that was outside my comfort zone,” he says. “It gave me a lot of confidence in proving that making a tasty and pretty plate of food is not impossible without being a professional.”

Click here to see the full recipe for Alexis’ pan-fried sea bream in a dill and salmon caviar sauce.

Click here to read the rest of the October 2016 issue of Stir it up