Former digger driver turned TV star chef Dean Edwards is the first to admit that his journey into the world of food was far from “straight forward”.

From beating stiff competition to earn a second-place spot on MasterChef in 2006, to starring alongside a Scottish daytime telly icon, it certainly makes quite the tale to tell.

Ahead of his upcoming appearances at the Ideal Home Show in Glasgow next weekend, he told the Herald: “Entering MasterChef completely changed my life.

 “My first job in a professional kitchen after that was the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House in Cambridge.

“It was madness.

“Despite that, I always knew that my real passion was the kind of food we put on the table for our friends and families instead of the intense fine-dining experience.”

The Herald: Pictured: Chef Dean Edwards has worked in a two Michelin-starred kitchenPictured: Chef Dean Edwards has worked in a two Michelin-starred kitchen (Image: Supplied)

It may be hard to believe given the infectiously bubbly on-screen persona he regularly presents to more than one million social media followers, but there was a time when Edwards had yet to tap into this all-important inner confidence.

Struggling with a bout of imposter syndrome after being catapulted into kitchens that demanded the highest standards and total dedication, it was time cooking in his own home helped him to develop what would go on to become his signature style.

“Working in a Michelin-starred kitchen gave me an amazing grounding, but I had to learn things very fast and started to believe that I didn’t deserve to be where I was.

“My biggest source of inspiration has always come from growing up in a family of foodies and being introduced to some really tasty meals by my nan or parents.

“Because of that, I know that good food doesn’t have to mean fine-dining, so I made it my mission to create recipes that were more accessible.

“I wanted to get people back into the kitchen and cooking from scratch, using ingredients that are readily available, cheaper and healthier than your average ready meal.”

Amongst the most recent of those recipes are the likes of a creamy slow cooker Cajun bake, Greek chicken traybake with crumbled feta, gooey Daim Bar cake and many more which prove lowering cost should by no means result in sacrificing big, bold flavours.

In the current climate, Edwards says, this is more important than ever.

“With the cost of living and energy crisis, it’s really helpful to be able to batch cook or invest in a basic store cupboard of spices that can be used time and time again.

“Going to the supermarket to buy the right ingredients does cost money, so the last thing you want is for the recipe to go wrong or not taste as good as was promised.

“It’s crucial for me to develop recipes that deliver, because if you can’t do that then people won’t trust you again.

“People also have had to consider how much energy will cost to cook a meal rather than just the raw ingredients these days.

“In the last couple of years, I found myself in a good position to help with this because I’ve written two slow cooker recipe books as well as one for the microwave and airfyer.

“As kitchen gadgets go, they’re the three most energy efficient to cook with at home, so working with them to try and save people as much money as possible was a no-brainer for me.”

The Herald: Pictured: The Bristol-born chef's recipes are designed to be accessible Pictured: The Bristol-born chef's recipes are designed to be accessible (Image: Supplied)

Despite their success, the Bristol-born chef’s career has developed far beyond penning a selection of thrifty recipe books.

In 2009, after the “whirlwind” of MasterChef, Edwards made his TV personality debut on This Morning before going on to spend close to a decade as the resident chef with Lorraine Kelly on ITV’s Lorraine.

Of his time on the show, he said: “It was an incredible experience that I never could have dreamed of having when I first entered MasterChef all those years back.

“But funnily enough, I think it did help me to find the path I’ve taken when it comes to food.

“It was all so family orientated, and I started round about the time my daughter was born, so that kind of cooking began to really appeal to me.

“Lorraine is an absolute gem which is why her career has had such longevity.

“She’s so down to earth and made everyone who came on the show, including myself, feel totally at ease.

“Those nine years were a real highlight of my life and I have so much to thank her for.”


@deanedwardschef Creamy Leek and Cabbage Gratin (serves 4) 1 tbsp. oil 240g leek shredded 100g cabbage shredded 2 cloves garlic minced 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard 300ml double cream 150g Cheddar cheese grated 1: Pre-heat your air fryer to 170c. 2: decant the leeks, cabbage and garlic into your air fryer drawer then drizzle over the oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper then mix well, cook for 12 minutes. 3: Add the cooked vegetables into a bowl then add the mustard, cream and most of the cheese, reserving some for the top, mix well then transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese then cook for a further 12 minutes at 200c. #airfryer #airfryermaster #airfryerrecipes #airfryertiktok #airfryeruk #airfryerguy #airfryeradventures #foodtok #foodies #ukfood ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) - CKay

Although he now has moved on from the Lorraine show, Edwards will soon be close to his former co-star's old home turf when he travels to Glasgow for the Ideal Home show at the SEC.

“It’s been years since I was last in Scotland and I’m so excited to be coming back,” he said.

“The Ideal Home Show is a great day out and really does have something for everyone whether you’re into interior design gardening or, of course, cooking.

“I’ll be doing some live demos cooking some of my most popular fakeaway recipes to help you make cheaper and healthier versions of your favourites at home.

“I truly believe that there’s a cook in all of us, it just takes the confidence to give it a go.”

Ideal Home Show Scotland takes place from Friday May, 24 to Monday, May 27, 10am to 5pm, at SEC, Glasgow.

 Tickets also include free entry to The Eat & Drink. For more information visit: