BBC One’s beloved culinary competition, MasterChef: The Professionals, is back for 2023, and it brings a fresh batch of talented contestants. As always, the esteemed judging panel consists of Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, renowned chef Monica Galetti, and celebrated MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace. The contestants this year hail from diverse backgrounds and culinary traditions, showcasing their unique skills, dedication, and culinary flair as they strive for excellence. In this article, we introduce you to the talented chefs competing in this year’s season, delving into their personal and professional journeys, and exploring the vibrant tapestry of culinary experiences that they bring to the competition.
Philippe: From Paris to London, A Modern Twist on French Cuisine
Philippe, a 33-year-old chef originally from Paris, has made his mark in the culinary world by bringing a modern twist to classic French cuisine. He honed his skills at the prestigious Médéric culinary school, and his culinary journey has taken him from the hallowed kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris to the vibrant private dining scene in London. Philippe’s ability to capture the essence of his Parisian roots while infusing innovative flavors and techniques has earned him a dedicated following in the British capital.
Verity: A Scottish Culinary Gem with Global Inspiration
Meet Verity, a 32-year-old Scottish chef whose culinary journey began with hands-on experience and transformed into a thriving Catering and Supper Club in Glenelg. What sets Verity apart is her dedication to infusing local flavors into her dishes, creating a culinary experience that is firmly rooted in her Scottish heritage. Inspired by her stages at iconic restaurants like Noma, she has elevated her craft to new heights, making her business, Eòlach, a local gem. Verity’s story exemplifies the fusion of global inspiration and local tradition.
Dimi: Ukrainian-born, Bringing a Fusion of Flavors to London
Dimi, a 29-year-old chef with Ukrainian roots, is making waves in London’s culinary scene by blending the flavors of his homeland with French finesse. His culinary journey has taken him from Kyiv’s Seafood Restaurant Odessa to Chateau Le Sallay in France, reflecting his passion for combining traditional techniques with modern twists. Dimi’s creations reflect the rich tapestry of his multicultural experiences, offering diners a unique and delightful fusion of flavors.
Dan: Norfolk’s Culinary Ambassador Celebrating Local Produce
Dan, a 32-year-old chef hailing from Norfolk, has transformed from humble beginnings as a café worker to a seasoned Senior Sous Chef in AA Rosette and Michelin-starred venues. Currently at The Harper Hotel, he brings a world of flavors to his native Norfolk, celebrating local produce with global culinary wisdom. Dan’s culinary journey showcases the power of passion and determination, as he rises through the ranks to become a culinary ambassador for his region.
Gabrielle: From Chalet Chef to Private Household Culinary Artist
At 33, Gabrielle has built an illustrious 11-year career as a private chef, with a repertoire that includes service on super yachts and in premium sports venues. Her journey began in the mountains as a Chalet chef and seamlessly transitioned to the high seas, where she spent nearly a decade perfecting her craft. Now based in Wandsworth, London, she caters to a private household, bringing her global culinary experience to an exclusive clientele. Gabrielle’s story is a testament to the diverse and exciting opportunities available to culinary artists.
Kasae: Australian-born Head Chef Mastering Japanese Cuisine
Kasae, a 29-year-old Australian native, has risen to Head Chef of a contemporary Japanese eatery in Bath. Her culinary path started in Melbourne and has since led her through esteemed kitchens worldwide, including a Michelin-starred stint in Sweden. Now residing in Yate with her partner, she infuses her diverse experience into creating innovative Japanese cuisine. Kasae’s culinary journey illustrates the global reach of Japanese cuisine and the importance of creativity in the kitchen.
Giovann: Bringing Authentic Mediterranean Flavors to London
Maltese-born Giovann, 33, is the Executive Head Chef at a Sicilian-inspired London eatery. His culinary foundation was laid during a four-year program in Malta, complemented by positions in luxury settings from London to Dubai. Now settled in Greenwich, his expertise brings authentic Mediterranean flavors to the heart of London. Giovann’s culinary story is a testament to the power of tradition and heritage in the world of fine dining.
Kyle: From Pot Washer to Fine Dining Maestro
Kyle, a 31-year-old Sous Chef from North Shields, has carved out a name for himself in the fine dining scene, currently adding his touch to a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. His beginnings as a pot washer led to culinary ventures in prestigious restaurants like The Fat Duck. His passion for culinary excellence now delights guests at Seaham Hall’s Dining Room. Kyle’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and the pursuit of culinary excellence.
Molly: From Kitchens at 12 to Running a Private Chef Company
Based in Leeds, Molly, at 27, has progressed from her humble beginnings working in kitchens at the age of 12 to running her own private hire business alongside her partner, Charlotte. Molly’s culinary expertise blossomed as she honed her skills in local French Bistros, and more notably at Kendell’s Bistro in Leeds. This journey culminated in her establishing byMölly, a private chef company that offers personalized culinary experiences. Molly’s story is an inspiration for aspiring chefs, showcasing the rewards of hard work and dedication.
Lauren: A Classically Trained Chef Making Her Mark in Event Catering
Lauren, 29, a classically trained chef from Mitcham, Surrey, has left an indelible mark in the event catering sphere over the past seven years in London. With her roots at Westminster Kingsway College, she carved her niche at renowned establishments like 34 Mayfair and Bakkavor Foods. Currently, Lauren channels her talent into Harry’s Kitchen, a prominent party design and catering venture based in London. Lauren’s journey highlights the importance of formal training and a commitment to culinary excellence in the competitive world of event catering.
Joaquin: From Venezuela to London’s Vibrant Culinary Scene
Hailing from Venezuela, Joaquin, 28, transitioned to London’s culinary stage in 2017 and swiftly established himself in the city’s restaurant scene. With a foundation from Instituto Culinário de Caracas, he showcased his culinary prowess at Venezuela’s premier restaurants before diving into London’s vibrant food scene at Camino. Today, he holds the reins as a Sous Chef at Club Gascon, a distinguished Michelin-starred French establishment. Joaquin’s journey illustrates the international nature of the culinary world and the opportunities available to talented chefs.
Evelina: From Lithuania to a Michelin-starred Haven in Scotland
Lithuanian native Evelina, 28, ventured to Scotland in 2013, embarking on a journey to master the culinary arts. After earning her SVQ in professional cookery, she quickly rose through the ranks of Aberdeen’s dining establishments, notably leading the kitchen at Craftsman Company. Her passion now unfolds at Glenturret Lalique Restaurant, a Michelin-starred haven, where she serves as a Chef de Partie. Evelina’s story is a testament to the power of determination and the rewards of pursuing one’s culinary dreams.
Jeany: Bridging Tranquil Landscapes and Bustling Culinary Scenes
Jeany, a Senior Sous Chef of 31 years, bridges the Isle of Man’s tranquil landscapes with Belfast’s bustling culinary scene. Growing up in a large Belfast family, Jeany’s passion was ignited early on. Her culinary acumen, sharpened by her NVQ, found expression in Belfast’s finest establishments like The Merchant Hotel. Presently, she crafts exquisite dishes at A Peculiar Tea. Jeany’s journey exemplifies the versatility of a culinary career and the impact of family and local roots on one’s culinary identity.
Ola: Weaving Nigerian Flavors into Fine Dining
Originating from Edo State in Nigeria, Ola’s culinary aspirations brought him to the UK 13 years ago. Today, at 33, he masterfully weaves Nigerian flavors into the fine-dining scenes of prestigious establishments and sporting venues. Ola’s remarkable journey began at the United Nations Restaurant in Nigeria and has since flourished, with him currently leading as Head Chef at a renowned member’s restaurant under Compass Group in Kent. Ola’s story showcases the rich tapestry of international cuisine and the impact of cultural heritage on culinary innovation.
Ieuan: A Decade of Dedication to High-end Pub Restaurants
Welsh-born Ieuan, now 26, has dedicated over a decade to the culinary world, making significant inroads in high-end pub restaurants. Educated at Crosskeys College and University College Birmingham, Ieuan has graced kitchens like The Foxhunter and Pennyhill Park. Currently, he lends his expertise as a sous chef at The Castle Inn, Chippenham, impressing patrons with his masterful creations. Ieuan’s journey is a testament to the dedication and perseverance required to excel in the competitive world of high-end dining.
James: Straddling Michelin-grade Kitchens and Street Food
James, 29, based in North London, uniquely straddles the worlds of Michelin-grade kitchens and street food. Although initially trained in Politics and Sociology, James’s true calling was in the culinary world. He’s served at acclaimed restaurants like Soho House before launching a hybrid Art gallery-restaurant and a dedicated street food venture, Hash Hut. As CEO, James currently helms Hash Hut while also catering to private clientele. James’s story illustrates the diverse opportunities within the culinary industry and the power of pursuing one’s passion.
Cameron: A Family Affair in the Scottish Highlands
Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, 25-year-old Head Chef Cameron has dedicated his life to the culinary arts of his coastal town, Mallaig. Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, he not only heads the kitchen at their establishment, the Cornerstone, but also works closely with his mother and brother, who manage the front of the house. Cameron’s culinary journey began at the young age of 17, and over the years, he honed his skills under the tutelage of renowned chefs Donald Mclean and Gary Phillips. His passion even took him to acclaimed venues like The Kitchin and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Today, Cameron cherishes his family life with his partner and toddler son while running the Cornerstone’s kitchen. Cameron’s story is a testament to the importance of family and heritage in the culinary world.
Catrin: A Force to Reckon with in Central London
Hailing from Sweden and now based in London, 31-year-old Head Chef Catrin is a force to reckon with in the Central London culinary scene. Her early training in Culinary Arts and Meal Science at Örebro University set the foundation for her burgeoning career. Eager to expand her horizons, Catrin moved to London in 2013, where she expertly navigated both corporate culinary roles with the Citi Group and elite stints at Michelin-starred establishments like The Goring Hotel. Presently, she lends her expertise to Bartlett Mitchell caterers, while enjoying city life with her husband, Josh. Catrin’s story showcases the international nature of the culinary world and the opportunities available to those who pursue excellence.
Himanshu: Blending International Flavors in Mayfair
24-year-old Himanshu, a Chef de Partie, brings a blend of international flavors from New Delhi and Dubai to London’s prestigious private members’ club in Mayfair. Born and bred in New Delhi, Himanshu’s culinary journey took him from the classrooms of the International Institute of Hotel Management to the kitchens of Five Palm in New Delhi and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Dubai. Now residing in East London, Himanshu continues to dazzle patrons at Annabel’s, blending his rich heritage with the vibrancy of London’s culinary scene. Himanshu’s story exemplifies the fusion of cultural heritage and international culinary exploration.
Dara: From Limerick to Hampshire, A Culinary Tale
From the vibrant city of Limerick, Ireland to the serene surroundings of Hampshire, 24-year-old Sous Chef Dara has woven an inspiring culinary tale. The New Forest became his second home at 16, as he embarked on a culinary journey fueled by a family legacy in the hospitality industry. An apprenticeship at Brockenhurst College set him on a path that led to culinary adventures at The Wykeham Arms in Winchester and Queen’s Hotel in Portsmouth. Now showcasing his skills at 36 on the Quay, Dara is determined to make his family proud as he competes in the coveted MasterChef: The Professionals. Dara’s story is a testament to the impact of family traditions and the pursuit of culinary excellence.
Cristina: Fusion of Brazilian Flair and British Finesse
Hailing from the vibrant city of Recife in North-Eastern Brazil, 51-year-old Head Chef Cristina once walked the financial corridors as an accountant. However, a bold move to the UK two decades ago marked a transformation in her journey, trading ledgers for ladles. Cristina now crafts culinary wonders in South-East London, where she shares a home with her wife. Her culinary prowess was sharpened at the esteemed Leith’s School of Food and Wine and Westminster Kingsway College. Cristina’s versatile skills have graced event catering giants like Rocket and Spook. Today, as the Group Head Chef at Camm & Hopper, she continues to impress with her fusion of Brazilian flair and British finesse. Cristina’s story showcases the transformative power of following one’s passion and the limitless opportunities in the culinary world.
Tommy: A Decade of Experience from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare
27-year-old Head Chef Tommy carries a decade’s experience, seasoned with classical training and stints at award-winning UK restaurants. Recently, the call of home brought him back to Bristol, where he cherishes family life with his girlfriend, Courtney, and their young son in Weston-super-Mare. Tommy’s culinary journey sprouted at Thornbury Castle, meandering through the Michelin-starred kitchens of Five Fields and The Frog by Adam Handling. Now, he brings his expertise to The Ethicurean in Bristol, where his classic techniques meet modern gastronomy. Tommy’s story showcases the evolution of a chef’s career and the impact of family and home in one’s culinary journey.
Meanwhile Celebrity Race Across the World will return for a second series on BBC One, it’s been announced.
The debut season of Celebrity Race Across the World challenged stars to step out of their comfort zones, featuring McFly’s Harry Judd and his mother Emma; racing sensation and TV pundit Billy Monger with sister Bonny; artist Mel Blatt alongside her mother Helene; and TV presenter Alex Beresford with his father Noel.
Sarah looks after corporate enquiries and relationships for UKFilmPremieres, CelebEvents, ShowbizGossip, Celeb Management brands for the MarkMeets Group. Sarah works for numerous media brands across the UK.
- EducationFriday, 8 December 2023, 17:45Navigating the Job Market: Tips for Recent Graduates on Finding Employment in a Competitive Industry
- FashionMonday, 20 November 2023, 17:46Fashionable Street Style Trends You Can Easily Replicate
- EducationMonday, 13 November 2023, 11:30Student Tips For Successful Thesis Writing
- LifestyleThursday, 9 November 2023, 16:20Ten Healthy Lifestyle Habits