Monica Galetti

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Monica Galetti
Monica Fa'afiti

1975 (age 43–44)
Spouse(s)David Galetti

Monica Galetti (née Fa'afiti, born 1975) is a Samoan-born New Zealand chef and television presenter who is based in London, England.[1] She was senior sous-chef at the prestigious Le Gavroche restaurant in London. Galetti has been a judge on the BBC competitive cooking program MasterChef: The Professionals since 2009 and has presented Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby with Giles Coren since 2017.

Early life[edit]

Galetti was born in Samoa, and was initially raised by two aunts as her mother had moved to Auckland, New Zealand, for work.[2] At the age of eight, Galetti moved from Samoa to Wellington, New Zealand, and lived there with her parents and five siblings.[3][4][5] In the early 1990s, she studied for a diploma in hospitality at Central Institute of Technology, Upper Hutt.[5]


After completing her studies, Galetti worked at Lower Hutt restaurant Timothy's. The owner sent her to cooking competitions in Australia, America and Europe, and she began to look for a position in London by sending her CV to top restaurateurs. The first offer she received was from Michel Roux Jr - a beginning position as first commis at his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche, well below her position in Wellington as chef de partie.[5] However, she accepted the offer and moved to London in 1999. She worked rapidly through the sections of the kitchen and became senior sous-chef, a position she held until 2015.[6][7][8] She was the first woman to hold such a senior position at the restaurant.[5]

While working for Roux, she launched, and was Head Chef of, the restaurant Le Gavroche des Tropiques in Mauritius.[9]

She has been a judge on the BBC series MasterChef: The Professionals since 2009, as well as a presenter on other food-related television programmes.[10]

In January 2017, it was announced that along with her husband David she will be opening a new restaurant in London called 'Mere'. This was achieved with backing from WSH chairman Alastair Storey.[11]

Galetti serves Samoa as its UK Tourism Ambassador.[1]


  • Galetti, Monica (2012), Monica's Kitchen, Quadrille Publishing, ISBN 978-1849491037[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 2004, Galetti married French-born sommelier David Galetti, the Head Sommelier at Le Gavroche.[13] They have one daughter, born in 2006.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Chef Monica Galetti - MasterChef Elite". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  2. ^ a b "Kiwi chef: Moving from Samoa to NZ was the saddest time of my life". New Zealand Herald. 2014-06-17. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  3. ^ "My Secret Life: Monica Galetti, chef, 35". The Independent. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  4. ^ "Chef Monica Galetti on Samoa, Sean Connery, and her life in travel | Loop Samoa". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  5. ^ a b c d Jewell, Stephen (2011-03-26). "Monica Galetti: Kitchen mistress". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. ^ "Le Gavroche - The Team". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  7. ^ Rayner, Jay (2011-01-22). "Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti: master and protege". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  8. ^ "MasterChef's Monica Galetti leaves Le Gavroche". Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  9. ^ "Strictly come cooking with Masterchef's Monica Galetti". Evening Standard. 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  10. ^ BBC Two - MasterChef: The Professionals - Episode guide
  11. ^ "Monica Galetti to open Mere in January 2017". Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  12. ^ "Chef live chat: Monica Galetti". The Guardian. 2012-10-16. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  13. ^ "The Team". Le Gavroche. Retrieved 2016-12-08.