Vicar's TV cook-along with Gordon

A SUFFOLK vicar swapped the pulpit for the kitchen last night when he appeared alongside Gordon Ramsey as part of the popular chef's latest TV show.

Craig Robinson

A SUFFOLK vicar swapped the pulpit for the kitchen last night when he appeared alongside Gordon Ramsey as part of the popular chef's latest TV show.

The Reverend Leonard Payne prepared a three course meal in front of millions of viewers as part of Channel 4's Cookalong Live.

His culinary efforts - which included a mint, pea and watercress veloute, lasagne and a lemon and lime syllabub - were broadcast to the nation from his home in Wrentham, near Southwold.


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It was the second show of Gordon Ramsey's new series which aims to teach everyone in the country how to cook.

Rev Payne, vicar in the Sole Bay Team which covers parishes in the north Suffolk coastal region including Blythburgh, Southwold, Walberswick and Wrentham, said he decided to take part after seeing an advert on an internet site.

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“I was actually looking on You Tube for some worship material for church when I saw that Gordon had put an advertisement on there asking for anyone who would like to take part to get in touch,” he said. “I thought 'why not? - it's something I fancy doing'.

“So I sent a little video off to his production team and fortunately they got back in touch. I do quite a lot of cooking anyway and I'm looking forward to it.

“It's all going to be done within an hour - all I've had to do beforehand is go out and get the shopping. The only other thing that I will be doing is sharpening my knives!”

Rev Payne hit the headlines in 2005 when thousands of people downloaded his sermons from the internet after he posted them on the Apple iTune store.

Speaking before the programme, which started at 9pm, he added: “It'll be a great experience. I've not made anything on the menu before - apart from a lasagne, but it was a quick one rather than a proper one.

“I get beamed back to the studio - I set up my laptop in the kitchen and use the web cam to send back pictures. The sound comes from my mobile phone.

“I enjoy cooking, it's my hobby and the way I relax - although working with Gordon Ramsey I don't think I'll be able to relax very much tonight!”

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