Mackem masterchef Stacie Stewart takes on Channel 4 taste test

(L-R) Stacie Stuart, Fred Sirieix, Michel Roux, Lucy Alexander and Jay Rayner.
(L-R) Stacie Stuart, Fred Sirieix, Michel Roux, Lucy Alexander and Jay Rayner.
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A Sunderland-born chef is whetting the nation’s appetite on a show featuring the crème de la crème of the food industry.

Stacie Stewart from Roker features on the panel in Channel 4’s Tried and Tasted: The Ultimate Shopping List alongside a who’s who of experts, including Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jnr, journalist and restaurant critic Jay Rayner and Fred Sirieix, the maître d’ best known for appearing on Channel 4’s First Dates.

As part of the show, the panel take part in a blind taste test of products, with the aim of seeing whether people are paying for a name or if the price tag is justified. From tomato ketchup to white wine and prawn cocktail, each test pits top-selling premium brands against own-label supermarket rivals.

It’s the latest TV appearance for self-taught chef Stacie who, after rising to fame on Masterchef, has appeared in the This Morning kitchen, as a judge on ITV’s Food Glorious Food, and most recently as the regular chef on Channel 4’s How to Lose Weight Well.

The 35-year-old said: “We’re half way through the series now and it’s getting a great reaction from people. What I really like about this show is how natural it is, the banter just flows between us all.

“Nothing is forced or scripted, it’s a genuine blind taste test, we never know what’s going to come out.”

Stacie in Tried and Tasted: The Ultimate Shopping List

Stacie in Tried and Tasted: The Ultimate Shopping List

Speaking about the concept behind the show, the chef said: “It came about when the creator of the show was in a supermarket and on the shelf there was a packet of pasta for 49p and £4.99 and she wondered whether it was all rubbish, or if there genuinely is a difference.”

Though the show has thrown up some surprises, Stacie says there are other times when you can taste the quality.

“The episode with the pies you could really tell,” she said. “The Marks and Spencer’s pie tasted amazing, you could tell it wasn’t from Aldi. With certain products, like wines and whiskeys, you do pay more for quality. But often with household items, such as bacon, cheese and houmous, there really isn’t a difference.”

The former St Anthony’s pupil now lives in Brighton, where she runs a clean eating deli called Eat Naked, but she still makes regular trips home to see her mum and dog Percy.

As well as her day job and TV work, Stacie is also busy writing the book to accompany series three of How to Lose Weight Well.

She said: “I try and get home every five weeks, that’ll never stop. I never really get recognised in Brighton, but I always do when I’m walking the dog down Roker Beach.”

•The next Tried and Tasted: The Ultimate Shopping List is on Channel 4 on Wednesday, July 26 at 8pm.