A TEESSIDE chef was 'the star of the show' in the first episode of the new series of the BBC's Masterchef.

John Torode and Gregg Wallace once again host the cookery competition, as a new batch of contestants are put through gruelling culinary challenges to test not just their skills, but also their knowledge of food and ability to cope in a professional kitchen.

The first seven hopefuls needed to pull out all the stops to prove to John and Gregg that they had the potential to rise above the rest and become MasterChef 2019 Champion.

The Northern Echo:

Last year's finalists Nawamin Pinpathomrat, David Crichton and Kenny Tutt taste Annabel's pudding. Picture: BBC

Among them was Annabel, 22, from Middlesbrough, who started cooking dinner for her parents when she was a teenager.

At the end of the show, Torode said of her: "Annabel, for me, today was the star of the show.

"She did two dishes which were quite risky. Cod, wrapped in ham, served with a black pudding mashed potato, which we really, really liked."

Wallace said of her dessert: "We were really delighted her fondant came out. We liked it, our guests loved it. Annabel is our star performer, John she marches straight through to the next round."

Annabel said of getting through to the quarter-final: "I can't believe it, I really can't. I did not expect that at all."