Christian Day gave Northampton's frustrated rugby fans something to cheer about with another five-star show on BBC's MasterChef.
The Saints favourite is through to Friday night's semi-final after serving up a tasty pork dish for judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
Franklin's Gardens followers saw the Premiership season put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this month.
And one Black, Green and Gold diehard tweeted after last night's telly show: "Cheering on Christian is the closest to sport I’ve got these days!"
The 6ft 5in forward's reward for making it into the final ten was seven sweaty hours in a professional kitchen of Michelin-starred London restaurant Da Terra — and a couple of roastings from top chef Rafael Cagali to speed things up!
Christian, who hung up his boots two years ago after a ten-year Saints career, said: "It's amazing to get through the first round of knockout week! My dish came out pretty nice and the judges seemed to like it.
Catch last night's MasterChef on the BBC iPlayer"It was the best brief possible: to cook something you would serve in your own restaurant.
"Two-way pork is one of my fave things to eat. I practised it at home and my mum said I was a champion .. and that's what counts.
"Northamptonshire has loads of beautiful gastro pubs and if I had one of those, this would be on it. That's what I'd like, that's the dream,
"Then getting to cook at Da Terra — fresh with a Michelin star — was an amazing experience. It's very much harder than it looks, but it's Michelin-starred food and Rafa doesn't accept average."
Christian's choice of dish to have on the menu of his own restaurant, pop-up or feature in his cookbook was: Pork tenderloin wrapped in parma ham and braised pig cheek topped with roasted hazelnuts, pommes puree, cabbage parcels stuffed with cream cabbage, glazed carrots and apple ketchup with a side of gravy.
And at Da Terra he cooked a short rib beef dish topped with pickled shimeji mushrooms finished with banana and bacon farofa for the restaurant's paying lunch customers.
Judge Gregg said: "Christian cooks with great technical ability and a great eye for presentation. His dishes are classic.
"His cooking is solid and technically absolutely perfect. His technique is great and he's got a good touch."
MasterChef is back on BBC1 tomorrow (Wednesday April 1) at 9pm and Friday at 8.30pm.
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