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Celebrity chef remembered

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 14:06 02/08/2014
Ross Burden
PHIL DOYLE/Fairfax NZ
GONE TOO SOON: Ross Burden in 2010.

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Celebrity chef Ross Burden has been remembered for his good looks, charm and humour, by a host of the television programme that had a key role in Burden's rise to fame.

Hawke's Bay-born Burden died last month in Auckland Hospital at the age of 45. He had returned to New Zealand to judge this country's first Masterchef series in 2010 after living in London for nearly two decades. 

He was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in July 2013, and contracted an infection following a bone marrow transplant to treat the cancer.

After managing the bar of a London restaurant, he had taken over the job of a departing chef and in 1993 took part in Britain's Masterchef competition, making it to the final.

When the television series Ready Steady Cook started in 1994, Burden was invited to take part.

Fern Britton, who hosted Ready Steady Cook from the start until 2000, told The Mirror she had liked Burden the moment she met him.

"He strolled into the Ready Steady Cook building tall and handsome, exuding charm and good humour," Britton said.

"We always told him he looked like a cross between Superman and Pierce Brosnan - and he had used his good looks to advantage in a short career as a model."

Burden had a huge, raucous laugh, triggered by the absurd, and his great strength had been to make the people around him laugh.

Obviously a "very good cook", Burden had also been impressive academically, Britton said.

"His master's degree was in zoology and he talked with great knowledge and enthusiasm about all things scientific.

"He had warmth, kindness and a constant sparkle in his eyes," she said.

"The world is a rather duller place without him."

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- The Dominion Post

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