Spencer Matthews gets Michelin-starred chef to help him win MasterChef

Mastercheat! Pippa Middleton’s brother in law Spencer Matthews signs up Michelin-starred chef to help him win MasterChef, telling friends: ‘I know it’s a bit naughty’

  • Matthews has been having secret cooking lessons with Jean-Christophe Novelli
  • Former Made In Chelsea star told other 19 contestants he was ultra-competitive
  • It is believed to be the first time that a contestant has been rumbled in this way 

Spencer Matthews with his wife Vogue Williams

The recipe is simple but appealing – well-known stars struggle to conquer challenging cooking techniques in a bid to be crowned Celebrity MasterChef.

And few things make more entertaining viewing than a hapless amateur who doesn’t know his braising from his blanching.

But now The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Pippa Middleton’s brother-in-law Spencer Matthews has been going against the spirit of the show – by having secret lessons with multi-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

The pair were introduced by his father David, a millionaire businessman who owns the £5,000- a-night Eden Rock hotel on St Barts in the Caribbean.

Sources on the set of the BBC1 show, which started last week, say the 29-year-old former Made In Chelsea star told the other 19 contestants he had sought expert assistance because he was ultra-competitive and wanted to stay in the competition for as long as possible.

It is believed to be the first time that a contestant has been rumbled in this way.


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A source said: ‘Spencer was making no secret that he wanted to do well – so much so that he used his connections to get ahead. 

‘He was boasting to the others that he’d got some expert help. He knew that it was a bit naughty.

‘David Matthews and Jean-Christophe met a while ago and Spencer first visited the chef at a food festival. He was determined to stay in the show for as long as possible.’

Novelli, who was chef to the Rothschild family before setting up a series of successful restaurants, runs his own academy and appeared on cookery show Hell’s Kitchen in 2005.

Celebrity Masterchef contestants (left to right) Frankie Bridge, John Partridge, Anita Harris, Spencer Matthews and Jean Johansson

Multi-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, who has been helping Matthews prepare

Sources claim two other contestants appearing in this week’s line-up alongside Mr Matthews have also sought professional advice.

Former EastEnders actor John Partridge, 47, has enlisted the help of a senior chef who spent a week talking him through recipes and helping him with time limits. 

Meanwhile, One Show presenter Jean Johansson has received private cooking tutorials, according to sources at the BBC.

While a source close to Novelli confirmed he had helped Mr Matthews, the reality star last night claimed he had ‘never heard’ of the chef. 

A spokesman for MasterChef said: ‘As with any role or job, we would expect the celebrities to do some research before appearing on the show.’ 

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