Cut! Our chef Ben almost loses finger on TV

Ben Varley, Masterchef Professionals competitor
Ben Varley, Masterchef Professionals competitor

TEARFUL Ben Varley thought his MasterChef dream was over after he sliced off the tip of a finger during one of the TV heats.

But the Courier can reveal today he will be given a second chance on MasterChef: The Professionals in two weeks’ time.

Ben, who works at Churchill’s restaurant, Holywell Green, was cooking a chicken dish when he took the top of his finger off.

Devastated Ben told Michel Roux Jr: “Believe it or not, I did it on a vegetable peeler, chef.”

Ben had made it through to the third stage of the show. Michel’s sous chef Monica Galetti said his monkfish starter showed promise but was not quite perfect.

She praised his caper butter sauce but said the fish was undercooked.

Before he started cooking his fateful chicken dish Ben said: “The only thing that can go wrong is me.”

After being told he would have to go to hospital he was comforted by Michel Roux.

“We can’t let you carry on like this,” he said. “You can’t.

“I really feel for Ben because I know in his position I’d want to soldier on but there’s no way he could carry on.

“It’s a very serious, bad cut,” he said during the show, broadcast on Wednesday.

Fighting back tears, Ben said: “I can’t go out with the cut finger.”

Earlier in the show, viewers had seen Ben complimented by Michel after making a pink praline tart with caramelised pears which had also been praised by judge Greg Wallace.

Ben was pleased with his progress. “I kept my head this time,” he said.

“I’m still not 100 per cent happy but something went right at least.”

Born in Halifax, Ben began his career as a teenage restaurant dishwasher. He begged to be allowed to get stuck in with cooking and went on to catering college in Darlington.

He has now worked at the restaurant at The Rock for four years.

Last night it was confirmed Ben was allowed to re-enter the show. He will appear in the week beginning November 28.