A WOMAN from Bournemouth is set to test her culinary skills on a world-famous cooking competition.

Haddy Duval, 29, will take part in this year’s edition of MasterChef as the show celebrates its 20th series.

The mum-of-two was born and brought up in The Gambia, but moved to England five years ago and now lives with her husband and daughters in Bournemouth.

She said she entered the competition to show off her nation’s food.

“I’ve always wanted to show off Gambian cuisine and share our beautiful dishes with the world,” Haddy said.

“I also want to make sure my daughters, who are born and raised in the UK, are able to appreciate our cuisine and celebrate their Gambian heritage.”

Bournemouth Echo: Haddy Duval is set to compete in MasterChef

Haddy said she was ‘very proud’ of cooking traditional Gambian dishes and they remind her of her Mamboi (Grandma) cooking.

“I find so much joy in the kitchen and loved helping her to cook,” she said.

“When I moved to England five years ago, my new kitchen was very different to what I was used to.

“For the first time ever I had an oven in the kitchen – I’d never used one before. I wanted to learn what I could make using an oven, my mother-in-law offered to teach me some British recipes and I also like finding recipes online.

“I always add extra spice to recipes – especially chilli.”

She added: “My earliest memories of cooking are helping my grandmother in the kitchen preparing food for her fast-food restaurant. I was in the kitchen from the age of four helping her mix spices, cleaning the onions, garlic, ginger and things like that.”

Haddy said she started watching MasterChef when she lived in The Gambia, and said she was ‘fascinated’ by what people made in the kitchen.

“I’ve always loved the show and wanted to be on it, but I was never brave enough to apply until my husband encouraged me,” Haddy said.

“For me, watching MasterChef is like watching a fairy tale.

“All of the beautiful fresh ingredients, the kitchen equipment and cooks creating wonderful recipes - some that even seem impossible.

“I love seeing cooks on MasterChef get good feedback. For me the best feeling ever is when people love recipes I’ve created.”

Haddy’s dream is to write a cookbook and to host a TV show showcasing The Gambia and its food.

She will feature on tonight’s episode, April 11, on BBC One and iPlayer.