John Torode says the recession is forcing people to eat fast food – but he hopes that MasterChef will inspire more young people to cook.

The Australian-born chef, who judges the BBC2 cookery contest alongside Gregg Wallace, thinks that those who rely on junk food are a ‘lost generation’ and hopes that MasterChef will produce a new generation of people who appreciate good food.

Speaking exclusively to whatsontv.co.uk, John said. “Apparently, it’s cheaper to go to McDonald’s than it is to cook at home and, while that’s not what we want to tell people, we’ve also got to be realistic; everybody has to eat!”

He added: “There are many people out there who are happy to eat food just because it’s fuel. But for me, that’s the lost generation.

“As long as we can get the youth of today watching MasterChef, then fine, because in 10 years’ time, we’ve got a new generation of people who understand good food.”

Comparing himself to other ‘TV’ chefs, John added: “I never wanted to stand in front of people and teach them how to cook a particular dish – but inspire them to cook. MasterChef is making people aware that they can cook at home a bit more.”

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