An Aberdeen trained chef is putting her skills to the test in the MasterChef kitchen.
Evelina Stripeikyte, 28, is appearing on MasterChef: The Professionals this year.
The Lithuanian born chef moved to Scotland in 2013 and studied at North East Scotland College, completing a SVQ in professional cookery. She then honed her craft for seven years at various establishments in Aberdeen, including the Craftsman Company on Guild Street.
She now works as Chef de Partie at the Michelin starred Glenturret Lalique Restaurant in Perth.
Speaking with the BBC, ahead of her television debut, Evelina said: “Growing up in Lithuania, surrounded by lush forests and sprawling fields, I was inspired by my family and the nature around me to become a chef.
“Every spring, we would spend time collecting sap from our backyard trees – a task that required patience and precision. The process of boiling down sap into syrup or fermenting it fascinated me a lot.”
Once she moved to Scotland Evelina’s interest in cooking developed in earnest. She first worked as kitchen porter, which involved cleaning up after the chefs. She soon took a keen interest in their work.
She said: “Watching the chefs prepare meals obviously made me curious about how it’s done. So I started asking them questions about techniques, recipes and ingredients used, gradually advancing my knowledge of cookery over time.
“I am entering MasterChef: The Professionals this year because I want to challenge and push myself in a way that will help me become a better chef. After many years working as an aspiring chef, I’ve finally decided it was time for me to take the leap and try my hand at being on such an esteemed cooking show. It is a great opportunity to test my culinary skills.”
During her appearance, Evelina cooked scallops with peanut sauce and carrots for the skill challenge.
For her signature menu, she fused her Lithuanian background and years living in Scotland. Her main of venison was sauced with kvass – a liqueur made from fermented dark rye bread. The rhubarb compote in her dessert was soaked in Scottish whiskey.
You can watch Evelina test her mettle on MasterChef: The Professionals on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Tuesday, October 31.