CULINARY queen Stacie Stewart has the eggs factor thanks to Simon Cowell – but she’s vowed never to abandon her Wearside roots.
The 30-year-old from Roker is on the cusp of prime-time TV fame after being snapped up by the talent show guru to appear as a judge on his new show, Food Glorious Food.
It’s due to hit the nation’s TV screens on ITV at the end of February and Stacie is gearing up to release her first cookery book at the same time.
“I had an amazing time filming across the country and working with the other judges,” said the former St Anthony’s School girl.
Stacie will be one of four judges on the show, alongside food critic and son of Camilla Parker Bowles, Tom Parker Bowles; chef Loyd Grossman and vice chairwoman of the WI, Anne Harrison.
It’s set to propel the baker’s career to new heights, but she’s determined to stay grounded.
“I’m from Sunderland, I’m proud to be from Sunderland and I will always live in Sunderland,” said Stacie who will appear at the National TV Awards with Simon Cowell later this month to promote the new show.
She added: “I live 30 seconds from the beach, why would I leave? At the end of day, if I need to be in London, I can get there in three hours by train. The show won’t change me, I know it won’t.”
As well as the forthcoming cookery show, Stacie is looking forward to her first book, Stacie Bakes, hitting the shelves here and across the pond in the US.
Many of the images featured in the book were shot by Sunderland-based photographer Helen Russell and show Stacie at Seaburn Beach with her beloved dog Percy or enjoying a cuppa at Louis cafe in Park Lane.
“The book comes out at around the same time as the show and I’m planning to have a launch in Sunderland and London,” she said.
“My nana taught me how to cook and there are recipes in there inspired by her, they are traditional but given a modern twist, such as singing hinnies and Chelsea buns.
“Rather than have things in there, such as a lemon meringue pie, which every cook book has, I’ve tried to do things differently so I’ve featured a lemon meringue cake.
“There’s nothing worse than a cook book which has recipes you could have just taken from the internet. These recipes are all new and funky while sticking to the roots of traditional baking.”
Stacie’s skills in the kitchen first came to prominence in 2010 when she reached the final four of Masterchef.
She went on to become a regular in the This Morning kitchen while also launching her own Sunderland-based business, The Beehive Bakery, which she still runs from home.
“If someone told me when I auditioned for Masterchef that all this would happen, I would never have believed them,” she explained. “At the time I was 27 and was a PA and just cooked for a hobby, I thought that’s what I’d always be.
“I really hope people from Sunderland get behind the book. It’s not about financial gain as I’ve already been paid for the book, I just want to share recipes with people.
“I’ll be so proud if it encourages teenagers to get in the kitchen and start cooking and to then pass those skills on to their kids.
“I would love to save a generation from fast food.”