A POLICE officer is swapping his handcuffs for a handwhisk as he prepares to do battle in the kitchen.
PC Dave Walsh, from Layton, is taking part in the heats of kitchen contest Masterchef on BBC One tonight as an amateur chef.
And he says he has high hopes for the competition.
PC Walsh, who has been a police offcier since 2007, served his first slap-up dinner aged just 11 when he cooked a meal for eight people.
Since then the 34-year-old has cooked dinners galore for up to 15 friends and family in one sitting and admits to contributing greatly to their waistlines as he tries out new recipes on them.
He was spurred on to enter the television competition by fiance Katrina Beck, 31.
He said: “I worried at first because I only cook for friends and family and they’re hardly going to spit it out so I thought, ‘I hope they’re been telling me the truth [that I’m good enough]’.
“I love being a police officer but I always wanted to cook and doing Masterchef means there’s a chance at that so it was worth a shot.”
The officer, who is based in Blackpool, hopes his time on the beat will give him a competitive edge and enable him to keep his cool in the heat of the kitchen with a camera crew watching his every move.
He added: “Under stress I just tend to get on with the job so that helps with doing the show.”
Not content with spending his spare time dreaming up dishes, seeking out new recipe ideas and watching his favourite chefs – Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller and Tom Kerridge – on television, Dave also spends his cash on gourmet gadgets.
He said: “I love using gadgets like water baths so that’s what I was looking forward to in the competition.”
PC Walsh is under strict instructions to keep his recipes and food fate under wraps as the heats for the Masterchef series continue for another week.
But he was challenged to recreate a chicken hock pie he’d tasted while blindfolded and promises much more.
He will appear on Masterchef on BBC One at 8pm tonight.