Meet the MasterChef The Professionals 2023 contestants: A sorbet expert and Mayfair Members’ Club chef are among the talented cooks taking to the famous kitchen
MasterChef: The Professionals is returning – and with it a new batch of talented chefs.
A total of 32 contestants are taking part in the high-pressure cooking competition over the course of seven weeks.
And Heat One will see the likes of a sorbet expert and Mayfair Members’ Club chef battling it out to impress judges Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing as well as food critics.
The professional cooks will be put through their paces as they hope to follow in the footsteps of 2022 winner Nikita Pathakji and the other 15 previous champions.
The show returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer for its 16th series on Monday October 23.
So let’s meet the new contestants…
Meet the contestants: Cameron, Dara, Catrin and Himanshu will all take to Masterchef kitchen on October 23
From: Scottish Highlands
Fresh faced: Scottish chef Cameron will put his knowledge from working in a family restaurant to good use
Talented: Cameron says his dishes are usually inspired by local produce in the Scottish Highlands and fresh fish
Head chef Cameron started his culinary career at the age of 17 and has worked in the coastal town of Mallaig his whole life.
He began his career working in the kitchen of his family restaurant, while his mother and brother worked at the front of house.
Cameron trained under chefs Donald Mclean and Gary Phillips and also has experience at the Kitchen and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
But although his love for cooking has always been present, Cameron originally sought a very different career path – that of a professional football player.
Cameron says his dishes are usually inspired by local fish and produce brought in by the area’s fishermen.
He said: ‘At the restaurant we have to create dishes that can be executed quickly, as every day The Hogwarts Express train stops off in the village and we have about an hour to serve as many people as possible!
‘In a way this is good practice for MasterChef: The Professionals! I’d say my food is seasonal, refined and fresh – celebrating Scotland and amazing produce.’
Cameron lives with his partner and two-year-old son and also enjoys running, fishing and golf in his spare time.
From: London, originally from Sweden
Passion: Catrin moved from Sweden to London to pursue her career as a chef
Expert: She even wrote a 40,000 word dissertation on sorbet during her food science course at university
Originally from Sweden, Catrin moved to London to pursue her career as a chef and now works for Bartlett Mitchell caterers.
Her passion for catering has always been clear, even writing a 40,000 word dissertation on sorbet during her food science course at university.
She said: ‘From that moment I hooked and just wanted to keep learning. I love that food and cooking is about science, theory, being organised but ultimately creating tasty dishes. It’s never ending in terms of what you can learn and I love that.’
Since her course, Catrin has worked in a well-known Michelin kitchen and worked up to a sous chef position.
Her catering job lends itself to responsibility, designing menus and creating her own dishes.
She is passionate about no waste and will always find a way to reuse food, for example by turning porridge oats into bread!
‘If I had to sum up my style I would say classic, no waste and a sparkle of Swedish touch,’ said Catrin.
From: East London, originally from New Delhi, India
Foodie: Himanshu works for Annabel’s – a Private Members’ Club in Mayfair
Passion: He has loved food from a young age and associates it with memories of growing up in India
Chef de Partie Himanshu works for Annabel’s – a private member’s club in Mayfair.
He was trained in India and food also played an important part in his childhood.
Himanshu said: ‘Food has always been part of the family. I remember my mother making fresh flatbreads back in India and feeding them to the cows who came to visit at the windows.
‘The first time I made something myself I was around eight years old and it was a Chai Tea for my mother.
‘The look on her face when someone made something for her was priceless and that’s when I realised the power of cooking for someone.’
As a result of living in Dubai and working in Japanese and French restaurants, Himanshu says his food style is a ‘combination of all – modern European with classic Indian influences’.
Himanshu is passionate about food all over India, travelling, singing and dancing.
He wants to make his family back home proud and speaks to his mum on the phone every day.
From: Hampshire, originally from Limerick, Ireland
Family man: Dara’s father is a chef, while his whole family works in the hospitality industry
Dara moved from Ireland to the New Forest at just 16 to start his journey of becoming a chef.
He is the son of a chef and his whole family works in hospitality, making his time on Masterchef: The Professionals even more valuable.
Dara said: ‘When I was a kid I wanted to work as a mechanical engineer in the army, but after I got my first job in a kitchen after finishing school I knew cheffing was for me.
‘My dad was a chef for over 50 years and he’s just retired. My mum was a waitress and my brother and sister work as managers in hotels. Cooking is in my blood. I was silly to think I’d do anything else other than cooking to be honest!’
He has worked in a host of hospitality venues, including The Wykeham Arms in Winchester, Queen’s Hotel in Portsmouth and now 36 on the Quay in Hampshire.
Dara enjoys fine dining food and using every part of the animal in his cooking.
He also likes foraging for ingredients and using seasonal produce, describing his style as ‘modern European’.
He added: ‘I want to be a role model for young people and show that you can come from nothing and build up to something great.
‘I’d love to use the competition as a stepping stone for my own restaurant one day. In the meantime I just want to build up my confidence and challenge myself.’
MasterChef: The Professionals – Heat One will air on Monday October 23 at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Inspiration: Dara hopes his time on the show will inspire other young people to take up cooking
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