Celebrity MasterChef 2022 champion Lisa Snowdon is "on cloud nine" after winning the BBC cooking contest.

And inspired by one of the challenges on this year's series of MasterChef, the high-flying TV presenter and podcaster has joined Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) as a celebrity ambassador.

The move came as a result of the mass catering episode, which aired on Tuesday, September 6, when Lisa, along with the seven other remaining celebrities, got a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the work carried out by the charity.

Taking place at EHAAT’s state-of-the-art airbase at North Weald, the eight semi-finalists cooked lunch for 70 guests including medics from EHAAT and the College of Paramedics, pilots, and charity support staff, designing and creating four dishes in just three hours.

Lisa, who grew up in Welwyn Garden City but now lives in Essex, said: “I am so excited I’m going to be working with the team at EHAAT.

"On the Celebrity MasterChef mass catering day, Jane Gurney, the charity’s CEO, invited me to be an ambassador.

"Nothing would make me prouder to be involved to help the team continue to raise money for the life-saving work that this amazing service provides.

"Myself and my fellow semi-finalists were so moved to be able to cook for them, and to meet them as well. These guys are real-life heroes and incredible people.”

Lisa, 50, lined up in the Celebrity MasterChef 2022 final on TV last Thursday alongside McFly star Danny Jones and All Saints singer Mel Blatt.

Essex-based ex-EastEnders star and Call The Midwife actor Cliff Parisi, who lives in the countryside near Saffron Walden, went out in the penultimate episode of the series.

The series 17 finale was filmed earlier this year but it wasn't screened on BBC One until September 22 due to changes in the TV programme schedules following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

After a close contest in the kitchen, 2008 Strictly Come Dancing finalist Lisa was crowned a deserving winner of the 2022 Celebrity MasterChef title by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace for her "daring combinations".

The three finalists had to cook and present a faultless three-course meal in two hours for the judges.

Lisa Snowdon's starter in the final was pan-fried mackerel served with poached rhubarb, and a fennel and orange slaw.

Her main course was pan-fried duck breast on a sunflower seed purée with pickled chestnut mushrooms, fried enoki mushrooms and sautéed shiitake mushroom, along with crispy and poached cavolo nero, and a sticky honey and soy sauce.

Gregg Wallace called Lisa's main course "inspired", adding "it is a glorious dish".

He said: "Listen, you've cooked duck before, not particularly well.

"You found redemption in this duck, it is perfect."

He added: "I've never had sunflower seed puree before. There's a bitterness to it but you've put something sharp through it like a vinegar. Lovely!

"That sauce of soy and honey is inspired. You had sweet and sour sauce with your sweetbread at Locatelli, you've made sweet and sour sauce again, haven't you?

"It is a glorious dish."

John Torode commented: "Mushrooms, beautiful. Duck, beautiful. Sauce, beautiful. Just beautiful."

A dark chocolate ganache tart with a biscuit base, topped with a brandy snap cigar with crème fraîche inside, served with cherries poached in brown sugar and red wine vinegar was Lisa's dessert.

"It's genius" was Greg Wallace's assessment after tasting it.

In the final, Torode told viewers: "Lisa has proved herself to be a great cook through this competition.

"She takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary."

"I wanted to take part in MasterChef to challenge myself," said Lisa. "Do these things that are going to just push me out of my comfort zone. And that's exactly what's happened.

"It's opened my eyes massively."

After being awarded the trophy, the new Celebrity MasterChef champion said: "I'm honestly so blown away.

"It's been such a life-changing experience. I feel like this isn't real. I just can't believe it.

"I'm just, like, on cloud nine."

Still coming down to earth after her magnificent MasterChef triumph, a charity close to home will now benefit from Lisa's high profile celebrity support.

EHAAT’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) teams consists of a pilot, co-pilot, pre-hospital care doctor, and a critical care paramedic.

These critical care teams can be rushed to the scene of an incident in Hertfordshire, Essex and the surrounding areas with life-saving support equipment to deliver advanced clinical care that is normally only found in the hospital emergency department.

Once stabilised, the patient will be conveyed by air or land to the most appropriate hospital for their needs.

In 2021, EHAAT attended 2,545 missions.

Lisa joins the well known actor Ray Winstone, who lives in Hertfordshire and has been a celebrity ambassador for EHAAT since 2014.

Over the coming months, Lisa will be working alongside EHAAT’s CEO, Jane Gurney, and the fundraising team, to develop opportunities where jointly, the work of this life-saving charity can be highlighted.

Jane said: “We are so looking forward to having Lisa onboard.

"Our committed, highly skilled, critical care teams remain dedicated and ready to help when someone is having the worst day of their life.

"We receive limited direct funding from the government and none from the National Lottery, and with each mission costing on average around £2,200, we rely heavily on the generosity and goodwill of the local communities of Essex and Hertfordshire.

"We appreciate Lisa’s time is incredibly valuable, so we are so excited she will be joining the EHAAT family; there is no doubt that her support will increase the awareness of the important life-saving work that we do within our local communities.

"Personally, I can’t wait to start planning how Lisa will support some of the charity’s key events and initiatives.”

About Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT)

It costs in excess of £750,000 every month to keep the EHAAT service operational and cover all charitable costs.

The charity’s HEMS teams attended 2,545 missions in 2021 – 485 road traffic collisions, 991 medical emergencies, 419 accidental injuries, and 650 other trauma incidents.

Of these, 1,317 missions were delivered by air ambulance and 1,228 missions were delivered by Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs).

During 2021 EHAAT’s critical care teams treated 70 patients with blood products, involved primarily in road traffic collisions, penetrating injuries and falls.

The fleet consists of two air ambulances, and five RRVs. The RRVs are crewed by a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic and carry the same life-saving equipment as the helicopters.

From 7am until 8pm, the Critical Care Team provides the service using helicopters based at Earls Colne and North Weald.

An RRV is used before sunrise, after sunset or when the helicopter is unable to fly because of poor weather or maintenance.

Overnight from 7.30pm to 7.30am, the service is provided using an RRV based at North Weald in Essex.