“WARM. That’s how I’d describe Glaswegians. They always say Glasgow has a such bad reputation but, actually, it has the friendliest people in the world. I came here as a stranger and I now have so many friends. I took that to the show and now I’ve made lifelong friends there too. That’s a trait I picked up in Glasgow.”

It’s difficult to believe Josie Popera has been swept up in a whirlwind, soon-to-be-national cooking storm. Shy, coy, laughing, the Dennistoun girl is genuinely grateful and “so honoured” to be flying the flag, not only for Glasgow, but for Scotland on BBC One’s new and exciting cooking series, Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBHC).

Filling the void left behind by The Great British Bake Off, the eight-part show is the ultimate immersive cooking competition with home at its heart.

Bringing ten passionate home cooks from across the country together while they compete for the crown, the contestants have left their homes to live under the same roof during the competition.

Hosted by Claudia Winkleman and judged by the queen of home cooking, Mary Berry, produce expert Chris Bavin, and top chef Dan Doherty, the chosen ones will face a comprehensive range of culinary challenges, from fabulous feasts to the nation’s favourite dishes - and all things in between.

Each of the cooks will bring a piece of home with them to personalise their kitchen stations in the studio with their treasured items and photographs - and Josie is no different. “I’ve got all my Asian stuff. I like collecting trinkets every time I travel around Asia. I’ve got my wee teapot from Vietnam, my Chinese ceramic from Macau, a wooden basket from the Philippines. I’ve even got a big vase from Bangkok that I carried in my backpack. I just need to make sure it’s still in one piece!”

BBC/KEO/Guy Levy

Originally from the Philippines, 37-year-old Josie arrived in Glasgow eight years ago and quickly felt at home. “I hope Glasgow will be proud of me,” she says nervously. “I’ve always believed people make Glasgow and I hope that comes across well in the show.”

The wealth client executive first heard of BBHC when a friend sent her an application on social media. “I didn’t think it was real,” she explains. “My boyfriend Gerard said it would be exciting and pushed me to go for it, so it’s all thanks to him.”

The application process was “quite intense,” she says. “It really makes you think about how you love cooking, how you cook with your family and your style of cooking. It made me think about my past and how my gran used to teach me. It was good to fill in and let the producers get to know me a wee bit.”

So, how does it feel to be representing, not just a city, but an entire country? “Oh, my god. Pressure!” she laughs, voice shaking. “I’m so, so honoured. I thought there would have been a few contestants from Scotland, but it’s just me. Not am I just from Scotland, but from Glasgow. I’m so happy to be representing the city as well as the Philippines.”

Josie likes to mix her Filipino roots with a Scottish twist when in the kitchen. She even likes to make sure her chicken has bit of good colour about it, something many a Glaswegian can relate to.

“I love using Irn-Bru in food. I use it in stew. If you roast chicken and put Irn-Bru on it, not only does it give it a good glaze, but your house smells amazing and it gives your chicken a nice tan!” she laughs.

Glasgow has long been tarred with the brush that is bad diet, but Josie has seen a shift. “Glasgow’s food scene has improved so much over the years. We’ve become diverse. We’ve got influences from Asia, Thailand, Japan - it’s all coming together. I’m really happy with how Glasgow’s palette is getting better and better as the years go by.”

Being a foodie who’s now made national telly, where’s the best place to eat in Glasgow? “I eat a lot in the City Centre, in the Merchant City. I can’t name all the places as there are so many. The West End is great too; Korean, Japanese, Indian, it has it all. When I go for a run around the city, I can smell all the amazing restaurants, making it easy to get dinner! I’m very happy in Glasgow when it comes to food. You’re spoilt for choice.”

Away from home for now, the first challenge on the show will see contestants be given an hour and a half to prepare their ultimate burger with at least two sides designed to showcase their individual personality. How did Josie find it? “The first challenge was always going to be nerve-racking. You always want to impress Mary. I definitely had butterflies and my chest was going.

“Meeting Mary and Claudia, I was starstruck and speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe I was there. It was a great experience.”

BBC/KEO/Guy Levy

Not only does Josie have to face the music with the judges, but they are also her mentors. “All of the judges gave me great tips, especially since I was cooking in a kitchen that wasn’t my own. They gave me reassurance which was good. I felt like I was pushed to do my best.

“The best tip I was given was to focus, calm down and that I could do it. I had to be conscious with time and make sure I was doing it all right. They would tell me to smile as well which was a big help!”

Now that she’s been unveiled as one of the ten, how has reaction been? “My colleagues at the bank, and family in Australia the Philippines, have been so proud. They’ve been so surprised. I kept it a secret a good wee while. For months and months!” she says, stifling her giggles.

It’s definitely too soon, but I’m intrigued to know what Josie’s plans are for the future. What’s she hoping for five years down the line? “The world is my oyster. I’ll go wherever the wind blows. I’m so passionate about my food and cooking but, at the same time, I want to give good food to my family, friends and others.” Could a restaurant be on the horizon? “There are so many options to explore but I don’t want to commit in case something changes. You never know though.” Watch this space.

Her big TV debut this week will be spent with her boyfriend’s family. “We’ll have dinner. He’s got a massive family so we’ll all get into the living room. I’ll be hiding behind a cushion!

“People at work want to have a big do. They’ve been trying to convince me to have a big event in work but I’m actually quite a shy person. If it’s about me, I want to hide away a bit. I’ll be like, ‘You go to the pub guys, I’ll catch up’. Then I’ll go home.” Josie’s giggles are getting infectious now.

Before dashing back to the day job, she’s keen to impart wisdom on other keen Glasgow cooks. “Taste your food, follow your instincts, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to use ingredients you don’t know. It’s like magic: you’d be surprised at what you can do. Always follow your instinct.”

The search for Britain’s Best Home Cook begins on Thursday, May 3 at 8pm on BBC One. Britain’s Best Home Cook - with recipes by Jordan Bourke published by BBC Books - is priced at £25. It includes all the very best recipes from the programme plus additional recipes inspired by the show.