MasterChef NZ fans had a treat at the weekend's Tauranga Farmers Market as contestant Hayley Bilton offered punters a cooking demonstration, and discovered a surprising fan base.

"I didn't realise how big of a following I had with children," Ms Bilton said.

She said she enjoyed getting children involved in the kitchen because "they are the ones who will be our cooks in the future".

Photo / George Novak
Photo / George Novak

Ms Bilton would host more demonstrations over summer, including monthly gigs at Papamoa's Dinner in the Domain. She said she would be encouraging people to make healthy eating choices and to focus on locally produced food.