Newly crowned MasterChef champion Kenny Tutt has revealed how he manages to balance his life as a family man and bank manager while chasing his dream of becoming a successful chef.

The 36-year-old, who triumphed in the final of the BBC One flagship cooking show last night, has been married for five years to Lucy and has two daughters, Grace who is ten months old, and three-year-old Emily.

He has been working for Santander in Brighton for eight years, but aspires to own and run his own restaurant one day.

For now though, he is basking in his MasterChef success.

Facing competition from 55 other determined contestants through seven gruelling weeks of culinary challenges and a close final cook-off, Kenny was awarded the MasterChef 2018 trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

After being crowned champion, an emotional Kenny said: “It is a really special day. I have learnt so much and I couldn’t appreciate it any more. It was 100 per cent my best cooking in the entire competition, everything just fell into place.

"I am just blown away. I have put my heart and soul into it and it’s been an absolute pleasure. It’s up there with the happiest days of my life.”

The judges congratulated Kenny on his crowd-pleasing winning dishes.

John Torode said: “I think Kenny’s journey has been extraordinary. He has come a long way. His food has got more and more refined and his main course was make-my-heartthump fantastic.

Talking about Kenny’s winning menu, John added: “Every single thing he cooked he poured his heart into. He nailed it.”

Fellow judge Gregg Wallace said: “In the final we watched Kenny coming of age. We have just witnessed Kenny having his best round on MasterChef and he saved it for the final.

His starter was a stunningly beautiful dish, it was quality restaurant-style perfection and his main course was even better. Kenny turned this competition on its head. What a brilliant champion.”

The initial 55 amateur cooks were whittled down to just three with Kenny up against Nawamin Pinpathomrat, 28, and David Crichton, 41.

In an extremely demanding final week, the last task was to prepare a three-course meal I had was working in a coffee shop when I was 16.”

Kenny said while he enjoyed his work as a bank manager, there was no room for him to express his creativity.

He said: “I really love my job, but you don’t get to be artistic or creative. With cooking, there’s just so much variety and chances to make something that stands out. There are a lot of different cultures, smells, colours, textures and flavours that you can experiment with.

“Also, when you are in a creative area, the designs are endless and I enjoy the thrill of coming up with something unique.

“I’ve always loved food, my parents are great foodies and this has had an influence on my interest in cooking, and to explore what sort of foods are out there. Even when it was just a hobby, I tried my best to make something interesting. Whenever my mates were out playing football, I would be at home cooking and trying to make different food combinations and flavours.

“My friends hail football superstars as their heroes, but for me I look up to famous chefs as my idols.

“I truly fell in love with food during my honfor judges John and Gregg. Kenny’s winning menu, inspired by his MasterChef experience, started with roast scallops, smoked cauliflower, shimeji mushroom and pancetta.

His main course was a squab pigeon breast and bon-bon, heritage beetroot, baby turnip, spiced cherries, bread sauce and game jus. He finished the meal with a bitter chocolate, ale ice-cream, malt tuile and smoked caramel.

With the coveted MasterChef title under his belt, Kenny now has to decide on his future with his own restaurant firmly on the agenda.

He said: “My wife and I want to open our own restaurant one day. There’s definitely a lot of opportunities in Brighton, the culinary industry is booming in this city and lots of people are visiting Brighton for its popular restaurants.

“I live in Worthing and although at the moment the restaurant business is not as big as Brighton, it is up and coming.

“I originally wanted to be in the Royal Air Force. I was an air cadet for a year and then I left. I have always liked cooking, it first started out as a hobby and then I became more interested in it.

“I’ve never been really involved in the hospitality industry before. The only experience eymoon five years ago. My wife and I travelled to different countries like Thailand and Mexico and it really opened my eyes because there is just so much different cuisine out there.

“I just enjoyed the experience of seeing things I’ve never seen before, and I got to learn so many new things”

As Kenny juggles looking after a young family and a busy job, he admits it is difficult to find the time to perfect his cooking.

But with sheer dedication and passion, Kenny has never given up. He said: “It’s tough. I love what I do. I love working for the bank, but I don’t get a lot of time to practise as much as I like.

“I need to spend time with my family. But when I do get a little bit of time it’s quite a challenge balancing it all. I am just a normal guy.”

Kenny thought he had missed out on the competition initially, however. He said: “After my audition, I didn’t hear back from anyone for four weeks and I thought I hadn’t made it and that I had stuffed up.

“Then, one day, I received a call and I was completely speechless when they told me I made it. My wife was downstairs and she just heard me screaming.”