Meet the Black Country mother wowing Mary Berry on Britain's Best Home Cook
"It was hugely intimidating cooking for Mary Berry. I was just starstruck."
Sarah Woods is taking the cooking world by storm, whipping up a frenzy on hit BBC one programme Britain's Best Home Cook.
The 42-year-old, who grew up in Oldbury, first appeared on the show last week and will be cooking again tomorrow night.
Britain's Best Home Cook, which is on its second series this year, is hosted by Claudia Winkleman and judged by Mary Berry, Angela Hartnett and Chris Bavin.
Ten of the nation's best home cooks are put through their paces in a series of challenges each week.
Sarah calls herself a true "Black Country girl".
She was born in West Bromwich and was raised in Oldbury as one of five siblings.
And the former Langley High School student said she grew up around "food obsessed women".
"My mum and grandma would always compete who had the most round chapatis. They were both fantastic cooks," said Sarah, whose grandparents and parents came from the Punjab in India.
"My grandma was a huge influence to me, she was the matriarch of the family. I don't think there are any pictures of her not eating food. Our house was always full of random people, and they were always fed and watered. I think that's why they kept coming back."
Sarah, who now lives in Cheshire with her husband Harvey and 10-year-old son Austin, said she hopes to mix some of her Indian roots with her modern techniques on the BBC show.
Last week she was praised by the judges – and placed in the top two overall – for her fettuccine bolognaise in the pasta challenge and her spiced poached pear in red wine sauce with cardamom chocolate cake in the rustle-up challenge.
And tomorrow she hopes to impress again with her next dishes.
"I was just starstruck meeting Mary Berry," she added. "The Queen of baking. She can be quite fierce but she's fair too. And Claudia Winkleman was amazing, she was so good at keeping us all calm. She's bonkers too."
Sarah studied media and communications at the University of Wolverhampton before moving to London after graduating – but said she always treasured her Black Country roots.
"You can take the girl out of the Black Country, but you can't take the Black Country out of the girl," she said. "I'm very proud of where I'm from."
- Catch the next episode of Britain's Best Home Cook tomorrow at 8pm on BBC One.