|Masterchef Andrew's Gourmet Guide to Fulham|
TV cookery finalist talks about his favourite places - and future plans
Andrew Kojima, who has become a familiar face to TV viewers after reaching the nail-biting final of BBC's Masterchef, lives in Fulham with his wife Jemma and baby son Hector.
Andrew, 33, who is half Scottish and half Japanese, took time out from preparing for a celebratory lunch with fellow finalists Tom Rennolds and Shelina Permalloo, who was crowned the winner, to talk about his favourite local places - and his plans for the future.
"Hector, who is now 17 months old, goes to Cupcake in Parsons Green every day and loves it. We often take him to the playground on Eel Brook Common and to Bishops Park and the cafe in Fulham Palace, which is lovely.
"On Saturdays we like to go to Le Pain Quotidien in Parsons Green Lane, and I used to hide in there with all my recipe books when I was preparing for Masterchef - the staff must have wondered what I was doing. I also used to get lots of inspiration in Nomad Books, where I would buy a coffee and read recipe books that were too expensive to buy!
"Fulham has a great choice of restaurants. For a cheap meal, we love Cafe 209 in Munster Road with the crazy Thai lady, and Napule on the Broadway, opposite Marks and Spencer, does the best pizzas.
" For a night out with Jemma, I love Mansons on Fulham Road. I have become friends with the head chef there and I love his style of cooking. They also do a great lunch deal.
"Our stretch of Fulham Road, west of Parsons Green Lane, has a great range of lovely little shops, including baby boutiques, and North End Road is lined with Middle Eastern delicatessens where you can buy lots of interesting imported foods.
" The Farmers' Market on New Kings Road on Sundays is going well and has a great choice and Elizabeth King Kings Road is always good. "
Andrew, who up till now has a had a day jobs as a research analyst, says that taking part in Masterchef has changed his life. "I am aiming now to give up the job to concentrate on food. I don't see myself as a full time chef - we may look good on telly but we are not trained chefs - but I would like to cook for events and in pop-up restaurants, and gain work experience in lots of different places, including Mansons, who have invited me to come into their kitchen.
"I would like to combine cooking with writing about cooking," adds Andrew, who already has his own blog, berzeli.blogspot.com where he talks about cooking as a new dad. "I started the blog after Hector was born, and we now have a new baby coming in August, so I will have lots more to write about."
Andrew with his fellow finalists
March 16, 2012