PGA Member Skelton cooks up a storm on MasterChef

PGA Member Skelton cooks up a storm on MasterChef


A PGA coach from Kent swapped his golf glove for a pair of oven gloves to take part in this year’s series of MasterChef, the popular BBC TV show which tests the skills of the UK’s best amateur cooks.

James Skelton, who runs his own coaching academy at Bearsted Golf Club in Kent, had applied for the long-running show several times before, but only finally got accepted for the 2022 series after spending the last two years perfecting his culinary skills during the various pandemic lockdowns.

And the enforced time away from his swing studio certainly paid off, with the 38-year-old dad of two progressing through his opening round to reach the semi-final before his run finally came to an end.

From an initial group of nine contestants in one of five first round heats, James progressed to the semi-final which is reserved for the best 10 cooks from the group of 45 hopefuls that started out on the journey to be crowned MasterChef champion for 2022.

James impressed judges Greg Wallace and John Torode throughout the competition with his home-cooking style, which involves modern British classics. Cooking a two-course meal against five others to win one of four places in the semi-final, James whipped up a baked cod loin with a smoked salmon and herb crust for his main course, served with creamed leeks and fondant potato, followed by a lemon posset with cinnamon-braised apples for his dessert. The judges said his main had ‘bundles of flavour’, was ‘beautifully cooked and well-seasoned’, while the pudding was described as ‘smooth, with a nice wobble and a lovely amount of sharpness’.

Speaking about his time in the MasterChef kitchen, James said: “It was an amazing experience, and one that I’ll never forget. I’ve applied to go on the show lots of times in the past, but never been successful, which was actually a blessing in disguise as this last couple of years I’ve been cooking more than ever and really had a chance to work on my skills. So, I felt it was the right time to give it a go. I’m pretty competitive, just as I am on the golf course, so I was really excited about the whole experience.”

With the filming of the show long since over, James is back on the range helping golfers improve their games, although he’s not put away his oven gloves, as he still has a hungry young family to feed and he has also launched a new food business to run alongside his golf coaching business.

He says: “I‘ve decided to take my passion for food further and combine it with my golf career. I now offer a variety of experiences such as supper clubs, private event dining, as well as luxury tours combining golf and food travel. I’m not giving up the day job, but it’s nice to discover another string to my bow.”

To check out James’s latest culinary creations on his Instagram feed, visit @silverfoxcooks or the website


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