Mi casa su casa for Masterchef star

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Gary cooking for friends and family. Pic © Gary Heath

Gary cooking for friends and family. Pic © Gary Heath

A former MasterChef quarter-finalist from Liverpool now has plans to expand his business to other parts of the UK where he will cook tapas for your party in your kitchen… and he will even clean up afterwards.

Gary Heath started his business, Tapas De Casa, five years ago after appearing twice on BBC’s MasterChef. After trying his luck on TV again on Britain’s Best Dish, Gary and his wife, Karen, decided they should finally start a career regarding food.

He told JMU Journalism: “We sat down and eliminated opening a restaurant, solely on the basis we could not afford it. We looked at alternatives and cooking for people in their own homes seemed like a new and exciting idea that no one was doing”

The Bootle man, who now lives in Aintree with his wife, seven-year-old son, Jack and eight-year-old daughter, Mia, decided on tapas after living with Karen in Spain whilst she was studying International Business with Spanish at Liverpool John Moores University.

The 35-year-old added: “Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing better than a Sunday roast or cottage pie, but tapas is my forte, which we love.”

The Spanish experience starts with Gary preparing and cooking all five dishes, serving them and even cleaning up to give his customers an experience they will never forget.

He said: “I leave the kitchen spotless when I leave with the dinner having not one dish or piece of cutlery to wash as it’s these things, alongside the food, that people will remember.”

When Gary isn’t cooking, he works full time as a learning mentor at a school in Sefton for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

With another baby due in January, Gary now has plans to expand to other parts of the country in the next two to three years and hopes there will be a Tapas De Casa in Manchester, Birmingham or Newcastle and beyond.

Gary added: “I have very high standards for myself and if a day comes that I think to myself things like ‘shall I buy pre-made meatballs instead of making them?’ then I will stop.”

About Hannah Hodgson, JMU Journalism