Masterchef hopeful cooks for navy veteran neighbour after his online orders kept getting cancelled

23 April 2020, 15:13

Anthony O'Shaughnessy has been making gourmet dinners for his elderly neighbour
Anthony O'Shaughnessy has been making gourmet dinners for his elderly neighbour. Picture: Anthony O'Shaughnessy
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

A Masterchef semi-finalist has been doing his bit for his elderly neighbour in the coronavirus lockdown by cooking him some tasty dishes for dinner.

Anthony O'Shaughnessy, who was a runner up in the 2018 cooking competition, told LBC News he had been prompted to help out after it became more difficult for his neighbour Peter - a navy veteran in his early 70s - to buy food.

He said: "We contacted my neighbour because he had had health problems over the years and might need to isolate.

"He told us he had ordered shopping online but it had been cancelled twice, and when it did come it was just half a delivery."

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The dishes are wrapped up and left on Peter's doorstep for him to pick up
The dishes are wrapped up and left on Peter's doorstep for him to pick up. Picture: Anthony O'Shaughnessy

As a result, Mr O'Shaughnessy said he thought to plate up some leftover Sunday roast and leave it on Peter's door step, adding: "We had a little chat at the door, and then we just kept it up each day."

Since then, the chef said he has been trying to impress his neighbour with his dishes.

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He added: "Peter loves spicy food. I made a Moroccan tagine the other day, and normally when I make them I keep them as authentic as I can.

"I was worried he wouldn't like it so I rang up and told him what it was and he said 'anything with spices I'll take up'."

Peter is said to love spicy food because it reminds him of going on holiday
Peter is said to love spicy food because it reminds him of going on holiday. Picture: Anthony O'Shaughnessy

Mr O'Shaughnessy, who has recently been invited back to Masterchef as a guest judge, said Peter later told him the tagine was "delicious" and that it made him feel like he was on holiday.

"He said he was in the navy once and travelled all over. He loved the spices and really hot food," the chef added.

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While he is usually based in Leeds, the cookery teacher is currently staying with his mother in his late grandmother's home in Newcastle, and says Peter has lived next door for around 40 years.

He said of his neighbour: "He plays golf everyday and normally eats at the golf club, so he doesn't do much cooking at home."

Anthony O'Shaughnessy is making the dishes every day
Anthony O'Shaughnessy is making the dishes every day. Picture: Anthony O'Shaughnessy

Towards the end of his grandmother's life, Mr O'Shaughnessy said Peter had helped out by tending to her garden and chopping the grass.

Speaking of the daily dinners, he said: "I think it's what she would have wanted. I wish I could do it for more people. It's a nice connection to have."

He then recalled ringing Peter the day before to discuss what he was making that evening, to which his neighbour said: "I enjoy these calls everyday."

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So - what's on the menu for tonight?

"I'm going to to make a quiche, so I have to start this afternoon," the chef said, adding: "I've got to make the pastry from scratch.

"It'll be apple crumble or Eve's pudding for dessert."

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