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Cumbrian cooks battle it out tonight on TV show Come Dine With Me

The heat is on in the kitchen of Carlisle theatre manager Jonathan Higgins as he battles it out in hit TV show Come Dine With Me.

Jonathan, 35, is one of four contestants taking centre stage in a new episode of the Channel 4 show being screened tonight (at 8pm) when he will “relentlessly rib” the other guests.

Temperatures are expected to soar as the four each host their own dinner party under the watchful eye of sharp-tongued narrator Dave Lamb.

Jonathan, arts and events manager at Carlisle’s Sands Centre, is nervously anticipating tonight’s screening.

He said: “I enjoyed the filming it but it was a bit of an odd experience. It all went well at the time but you never know how it will be edited.

“Let’s just say I’m leaving the country in the morning.”

Jonathan, of Harrison Way, Harraby Green, is taking off tomorrow to Bodrum in Turkey where he has a holiday home.

“It is also where he developed his love of Turkish cooking which is the theme of his dinner party.

He was tight-lipped about the winner of tonight’s show but is confident that his menu of stuffed bell peppers, slow-cooked Turkish lamb stew and white chocolate baklava cigars went down well.

“I’m quite proficient at Turkish cooking but everyone will have to wait and see how I got on in the competition,” he said.

Fellow competitor, fitness instructor and personal trainer Karen Rathbone, who was 60 yesterday , chose a health-inspired menu for her evening at her home in Parklands Village, Carleton.

Karen, who is divorced with a grown-up son and two grandchildren, cooked up a feast of vodka prawns followed by venison in chocolate sauce with root vegetables and a dessert of fresh berries in Greek yoghurt with cinnamon and goji berries.

“I wanted to do a healthy meal and you can’t get much healthier than venison.”

She will watch the show with a group of friends before celebrating her birthday tomorrow at the Fantails restaurant at Wetheral.

Other competitors battling it out for the £1,000 first prize are nanny and furniture restorer Nina Raistrick, of Penrith, who takes the novel approach of serving a menu of deliberately unexciting-sounding dishes while father-of-three council tax assessor Zoltan Buncsek, of Dalston Road, Carlisle, delivers food from his native Hungary.

9pm UPDATE: The £1,000 prize was won by Nina Raistrick who scored 24 out of 30 for her menu - Porky meatballs (starter), Boring chicken again (main) and Upside down apple pie (dessert).

The other contestants

Jonathan Higgins
Kiymali biber dolmasi (stuffed bell pepper) (starter)
Slow cooked Turkish lamb and vegetable stew (main)
White chocolate baklava cigars (dessert)
Scored 20

Zoltan Buncsek
Z-Dawg's deep fried spicy balls (starter)
Pig-z-licious tender pork with rice and beans (main)
Gimme More Cake (dessert)
Scored 22

Karen Rathbone
Inebriated prawns with green for go salad (starter)
Roast venison in chocolate sauce with seasonal root veg (main)
Berry Boost with Greek yoghurt (dessert)
Scored 17

Have your say

@Bobby Dash. To get on this programme, you need to apply! A colleague from Welsh Road, Carlisle applied, and then withdrew because his wife had just given birth. How many people from Botcherby or Raffles applied?

Posted by Stemax1960 on 6 June 2013 at 06:53

best woman won her cooking is amazing.and if you want to taste it I'm selling tickets £2 each. Winner gets winning menu for 4 people in their own home. All profit goes to leukemia care x

Posted by Tanya Dixon on 5 June 2013 at 21:20

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