MasterChef: The Professionals

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MasterChef: The Professionals
Genre Cooking
Written by Franc Roddam
Judges Gregg Wallace
Monica Galetti (2009–)
Marcus Wareing (2014–)
Michel Roux Jr. (2008–14)
Narrated by India Fisher (2008–10)
Sean Pertwee (2011–)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 161 (inc. 2 specials)
Production
Executive producer(s) Franc Roddam
Elisabeth Murdoch
Carla-Maria Lawson
Running time 30–60 minutes
Production company(s) Shine Television
Distributor Ziji Productions
Release
Original network BBC Two
Picture format 16:9
Original release 25 August 2008 (2008-08-25) – present
Chronology
Related shows MasterChef
External links
Website

MasterChef: The Professionals is a BBC television competitive cooking show aired on BBC Two. It is a spin-off from the main MasterChef series, for professional working chefs. Introduced in 2008, Gregg Wallace and India Fisher reprised their roles as co-judge and voiceover respectively. MasterChef judge John Torode was replaced by Michel Roux Jr., a two-Michelin-star chef, assisted, from 2009, by his sous-chef Monica Galetti. Since 2011, Sean Pertwee has taken over Fisher's role as voiceover.

On 11 March 2014, it was announced that Roux Jr had left the show due to "a conflict in commercial interests".[1] Three months later his replacement was announced as Marcus Wareing.[2]

Format[edit]

Typically, the show runs for seven weeks from early November until Christmas week, with four episodes per week, although the precise number of shows, number of contestants, the running order and nature of the challenges and the number of chefs eliminated at each round varies greatly from series to series. There are typically four weeks of "heats" (the final show of each heat week being a quarter final), a "knockout" week, a semi-final week and a finals week. Below is a synopsis of a typical series:

The Heats[edit]

Each heat week begins with six chefs. The three remaining chefs then participate in the quarter final at the end of that week.

  • Skills Test (Series 2 onwards): The professional judges demonstrate the preparation of a specific dish, or the preparation of an ingredient. The contestant is then required to reproduce that dish in a specific time limit - typically 15–20 minutes. The judges then taste the contestant's attempt and give feedback. In Series 2–4, Monica Galetti would eliminate 2 of the 6 contestants at this stage, meaning only four went through to cook for Michel Roux Jr.
  • Signature Dish: The contestants are then given one hour to prepare their signature dish which will showcase their skills and abilities. This is then scrutinised by the judges, who then eliminate three of the six contestants, based on their performance in both this, and the skills test.

Quarter Final[edit]

  • Invention Test: The three surviving contestants from the heat are given 1 hour to invent a dish from a set larder of ingredients. The contestants are then given feedback. In Series 1 the invention test took place during the heats (before being replaced in Series 2 by the Skills Test, with the invention test being moved to the quarter final). In some series four chefs competed in this round, which was reduced to three in the next round.
  • Cook For The Critics: The four (or three) contestants are required to prepare a three-course meal for a panel of three restaurant critics - typically Jay Rayner, Charles Campion and William Sitwell. The meal is also sampled by the professional judges (but not Gregg Wallace). The contestants do not get feedback from the critics directly. Based on this challenge and performance in the invention test, one chef is eliminated, and the remainder go through to knockout week.

Knockout Week[edit]

Typically 8-10 chefs are left by this stage. The precise challenges have varied over the series.

  • Knowledge Test (Series 1–7): Michel Roux Jr or Marcus Wareing demonstrates the preparation of a classic dish which requires a high degree of technical skill and ability. The chefs are then required to reproduce the dish themselves using only a basic recipe lacking in precise details of the cooking methods involved. Typically, the larder supplied included "rogue" ingredients that were not actually used in the dish, intended to probe the contestants' palates and knowledge of flavours.
  • Cook for A Guest Chef (Series 1–6): The contestants are required to cook a dish for a mystery renowned chef who visits the MasterChef kitchen (in Series 5 & 6 this was Marcus Wareing). The guest chef did not participate in the usual judging discussion between Roux and Wallace, and it would result in an elimination.
  • Invention Test With A Difference (Series 5–6, 8): The chefs are required to invent a single dish, but must only use basic cooking methods, for instance they are prohibited from using the sous-vide cookers. In Series 6, three of the chefs gained automatic passage into the next round, whilst the remaining three must cook off against each other to avoid elimination, where one chef was eliminated.
  • Mass Catering (Series 8): The chefs are divided up into two teams where they have to demonstrate their ability to cook low cost, high quality dishes in large quantity in a short timeframe. Typically they are sent to a large workplace canteen, or a major sporting event. This is then followed by a cook-off in the studio in which one further chef is eliminated.

Semi Finals[edit]

  • Service In A Top Restaurant: The six surviving contestants are divided into either pairs or teams of three and are each sent to work in an acclaimed British restaurant under the supervision of the Head Chef, or Chef Patron and work a lunch service. The chefs must then prepare the restaurant's signature dish, and then receive feedback from the Chef Patron on their interpretation of the dish. They then return to the MasterChef Kitchen were they cook against each other, and one chef is eliminated, based on their performance in the cook-off, and from the feedback from the restaurant test.
  • Invention With Leftovers: The five remaining chefs are presented with scraps of food along with a basic larder and are instructed to produce a dish using them. One further chef is eliminated at the end of this round.
  • Chef's Table: The four surviving contestants are required to work as a team to cook a banquet for a party of top British chefs, most of whom possess Michelin stars. Each chef is given responsibility for a course (starter, fish, main, dessert). At the end of each course, one of the guest chefs gives the contestant feedback. Upon returning to the MasterChef kitchen, the contestants cook a two course meal against each other. No elimination takes place at the end of this round.

Finals Week[edit]

  • Showstopping Dish: The four surviving contestants are asked to produce a high quality dish that will showcase their knowledge and skill, and justify their presence in the final. One chef is eliminated here to leave the final three.
  • Prestigious Banquet: (This task was moved to Knockout Week in Series 9) The three finalists must cook a banquet for a distinguished guest or a small exclusive party in a prestigious location - usually in London.
  • Three-Starred Restaurant: The finalists are sent to a restaurant of international acclaim, either in the UK or abroad, which typically holds the coveted 3 Michelin stars. The chefs participate in a lunch service in that restaurant, and learn how to cook the establishment's signature dishes and receive guidance from the Chef Patron. They also create their own dishes using the same techniques used in that restaurant.
  • Final Cook-Off: Returning to the MasterChef kitchen, the three finalists are given two hours to cook a three course meal for the MasterChef judges where one will be crowned Champion for the series.

Series guide[edit]

Series 1 (2008)[edit]

Derek Johnstone won the first series on 19 September 2008, and went on to take a job with Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche restaurant in London.

Series 2 (2009)[edit]

The second series began on 14 September 2009 at 8:30 pm on BBC2 and was won by Steve Groves on 22 October 2009.[3] On 6 June 2010 the series was awarded a BAFTA in the Features category at the British Academy Television Awards 2010, fending off competition from The Choir, James May's Toy Stories and Heston's Feasts.

Series 3 (2010)[edit]

The third series began on Monday 20 September 2010, the eventual winner being 30-year-old Claire Lara from Liverpool.[4] She was pregnant at the time.[5]

Series 4 (2011)[edit]

The fourth series began on 7 November 2011, with India Fisher's voiceover replaced with Sean Pertwee (it was initially believed that previous narrator India Fisher had a sore throat). The series concluded on 15 December 2011, with finalists Steve Barringer[6] and Claire Hutchings[7] being beaten by winner Ash Mair,[8][9][10] 34, from Tasmania. He cooked a final three-course menu comprising a starter of roasted monkfish tail with lentils and Basque piperade; roast rump of lamb with braised lamb neck potato croquette; and a dessert of Spanish bread and butter pudding with vanilla parfait. This was the first series where two semi finalists were put through to the final from the same semi final heat. This resulted in 4 finalists for the first time and in the cook off Oliver Farrar,[11][12] was knocked out from the finals week.

Series 5 (2012)[edit]

Series 5 was first broadcast on 5 November 2012, with the final aired on 13 December 2012. Sean Pertwee continued to provide the voiceover. The title was jointly awarded (for the first time in MasterChef history)[13] to Anton Piotrowski, Chef patron of Röski restaurant in Liverpool, and freelance event caterer Keri Moss of South London. The third finalist was Oli Boon.

Series 6 (2013)[edit]

Series 6 started in November 2013. In the final, broadcast on 12 December 2013, Steven Edwards was crowned the winner.[14] The final task was to prepare a three-course meal for judges Roux Jr, Galetti and Wallace.[15] The two other finalists were Scott Davies and Adam Handling.[16]

Series 7 (2014)[edit]

Series 7 started on 4 November 2014. In the final, broadcast on 23 December 2014, Jamie Scott was crowned victor.[17] The other two finalists were Brian McLeish and Sven-Hanson Britt.

Series 8 (2015)[edit]

Series 8 began airing on 10 November 2015.

Series 9 (2016)[edit]

Series 9 began airing on 8 November 2016.

Series 10 (2017)[edit]

Series 10 began airing on 7 November 2017. In the final, aired on 21 December 2017, Craig Johnston was crowned champion. The other two finalists were Louisa Ellis and Steven Lickley.

Winners[edit]

Year Winner(s)
2008 Derek Johnstone
2009 Steve Groves
2010 Claire Lara
2011 Ash Mair
2012 Keri Moss
Anton Piotrowski
2013 Steven Edwards
2014 Jamie Scott
2015 Mark Stinchcombe
2016 Gary Maclean
2017 Craig Johnston

Transmissions[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 25 August 2008 19 September 2008 20
2 14 September 2009 22 October 2009 29
3 27 September 2010 2 November 2010 17
Special 8 November 2010 (Michel's Classics) 2
4 7 November 2011 15 December 2011 24
5 5 November 2012 13 December 2012
6 4 November 2013 12 December 2013
7 4 November 2014 23 December 2014 21
8 10 November 2015 24 December 2015 22
9 8 November 2016 22 December 2016 21
10 7 November 2017 21 December 2017
  • MasterChef: The Professionals Uncovered – A look at the highs and lows of the past five series of MasterChef: The Professionals; aired 27 February 2013

International versions[edit]

Legend:      Still in production        No longer airing  

Country Name Host(s) Judges Network Air dates
 Australia MasterChef Australia: The Professionals
  • Matt Preston
  • Marco Pierre White
  • Guest judge
Network Ten 20 January 2013 – 17 March 2013
(Season 1)
 Brazil MasterChef Profissionais Ana Paula Padrão
  • Erick Jacquin
  • Paola Carosella
  • Henrique Fogaça
Band 4 October 2016 – 13 December 2016
(Season 1)
5 September 2017 – 5 December 2017
(Season 2)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michel Roux Jr leaves MasterChef: Professionals over business conflict". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "MasterChef: The Professionals - Marcus Wareing joins as new judge". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Liz (23 October 2009). "Masterchef: I almost quit cooking after my father's death, says winner Steve Groves". Daily Mail. London. 
  4. ^ "Claire Lara crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals". Daily Mail. London. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  5. ^ "Pregnant Merseyside chef Claire Lara through to final of Masterchef: The Professionals – Wirral News". wirralnews.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  6. ^ "Steve Barringer's recipes" on the BBC Food Website
  7. ^ "Claire Hutchings's recipes" on the BBC Food Website
  8. ^ "Ash Mair's recipes" on the BBC Food Website
  9. ^ "Professional MasterChef winner is crowned". BBC News. 16 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Chris Harvey, "MasterChef: the Professionals, BBC One, who will win it?", The Telegraph, 15 December 2011
  11. ^ "Oli Farrar's recipes" on the BBC Food Website
  12. ^ "Oliver Farrar Head Chef" on the Handbook.com website
  13. ^ Paul Martinovic (13 December 2012). "'MasterChef' finishes in a draw for the first time in history". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  14. ^ "Professional MasterChef 2013 winner revealed". BBC Media Centre. 12 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "MasterChef: the Professionals, the final, review". Daily Telegraph. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 - Steven Edwards crowned winner". The Independent. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Masterchef winner Jamie Scott's 'incredible' winning dish". BBC. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 

External links[edit]