A Sussex mum-of-seven has proved she’s a culinary genius - after appearing on a new TV cookery combat contest with world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay.
Stay-at-home mum and self-taught cook Catia Castro won first-place in episode three of the ITV show Culinary Genius when she beat eight other hopefuls to the top spot.
Catia, wife of Crawley Councillor Carlos Castro, was picked to take part in the new 20-series television cookery competition - the brainchild of the notoriously foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay himself - after programme-makers spotted her talents on a blog.
The show, hosted by Fern Britton, each week features nine home cooks doing battle in nine rounds testing their skills under the watchful eye of Ramsay.
Catia, 40, from Tilgate, Crawley, won the third series of the show by demonstrating her chopping skills in a fast knife challenge, her meat know-how in a butchery breakdown and finally her kitchen creativity by choosing a set of ingredients and turning them into a mouth-watering meal within a short time limit.
Catia - mum to seven children aged from seven to 23 - writes a regular social media cookery blog entitled The Purple Door Supper Club.
Hubby Carlos said: “I am extremely proud of her and as a Crawley resident, Crawley should be too.”
He said the TV show had proved Catia’s talent in the kitchen “and everyone who eats at our home can’t say enough of good things about her dishes.”
He confessed that he loves all of the many culinary creations Catia comes up with at home but said one of his favourites is her fettuccine in a vodka tomato sauce with crab, olives and cannelloni beans.
Catia, originally from Portugal, is self taught and has been cooking all her life, first for her family and more recently cooking for The Purple Door Supper Club and for the charitable group Black Tie Portuguese Affair, both based in Crawley.
“This is Crawley’s best kept secret, but now it won’t be for much longer. People are asking for more and telling their friends,” said Carlos.
“The Supper Club is non profitable, but it gives Kat an opportunity to show off her talent and ‘play restaurant’.”
Catia - known on social media as Kat Castro - hopes one day to run her own professional kitchen.