SIMON Cowell has snapped up a Sunderland superchef for a culinary version of the X Factor.
Stacie Stewart, 30, from Roker, has been hand-picked as a judge for Food Glorious Food, a new prime-time cookery show.
At the helm is Cowell, TV’s Mr Nasty, who, impressed with the chef’s outspoken views and distinctive style, asked her to be part of the programme.
A joint production between Simon Cowell’s company Syco and Optomen, which makes Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the show is billed as “the biggest ever search for Britain’s best-loved recipe” and was inspired by Cowell’s self-confessed love of home-cooked food such as pasties, shepherd’s pie and his mum’s roast potatoes.
Stacie is no stranger to TV screens. She appeared as a regular in the This Morning kitchen on ITV after making it through to the semi-finals of Masterchef 6.
She will juggle her new judging role with running her Sunderland business, the Beehive Bakery.
The former St Anthony’s School girl will be joined on the judging panel by food connoisseur Loyd Grossman and food writer Tom Parker Bowles, son of the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Anne Harrison who is vice-chairman of the WI. The show’s host will be Carol Vorderman.
Although Cowell will not appear on the show he is said to have been heavily involved in planning it and helping to select the judges.
The ITV1 series will search the country for one special recipe. The winner gets £20,000 and their dish on the shelves of Marks & Spencer.
The series will search Britain for people’s best-loved recipe, and it’s a competition that anyone can enter – all it takes is the ability to cook one delicious dish.
An ITV spokesperson said of Food, Glorious Food: “It’s about home cooking, it’s about the best of British, it’s about the recipes your mum passed down or your granny used to cook or you use to impress your girlfriend.”
Regional heats will take place throughout the autumn.