MASTERCHEF is essential watching for any foodie, but what is it actually like to compete on the show?

Haddy Duval, from Bournemouth, took on the challenge in the most recent series, reaching knockout week before leaving the show.

She said the experience was ‘amazing’ and that she was made to feel at home by the whole team.

“I was so nervous going in there and when I did, I just felt at home, everybody was so amazing,” Haddy, 29, said.

“The judges, John and Gregg were amazing. The production team, they just make me feel at home.

"I mean, I was getting so used to it, it almost feels like my second home.”

Bournemouth Echo: Haddy competes in tonight's episode, April 11.

Haddy soared through the early rounds of the competition, cooking food from The Gambia, where she is originally from.

She said she wanted to show off her country’s cuisine to the world through the show.

“I have two daughters and they are growing up here and I want them to know about my culture, my roots,” Haddy said.

“That's why I love to cook with them. I love to show them the way that I grew up and, I think that also added more and more to my pride of being Gambian and west African.”

Haddy wants to write a cookbook and present a television show showing off the food of her nation.

She felt the best way to show food from The Gambia off was to go on the show, but that she never had the courage to apply herself, with her husband applying for her.

Haddy said it was ‘really hard’ to not tell her friends and family of her Masterchef journey, and that she was ‘so nervous’ watching it back.

She spoke of her pride of cooking for previous competitors and winners of the show.

“I walked into there and I saw these people who are my heroes,” Haddy said.

“I was just speechless. I was so nervous.

“It’s one thing, when John and Gregg like your food, but having the old contestants coming there and then loving your food, I mean, it's the best feeling I could have ever had.

“I felt so happy when I went through knowing that, okay, I went through because they liked my food.”

Haddy is planning to release a range of chilli sauces and oils to share her food with the Bournemouth area and hopes to take them around local festivals.

The Masterchef final will be aired on Wednesday, May 22, with all episodes featuring Haddy available on iPlayer.