August 26, 1975
Monica Galetti (née Faʻafiti, born August 1975) is a Samoan-born New Zealand chef. She is a judge on Masterchef and chef proprietor of Mere in London. She was senior sous-chef at the prestigious Le Gavroche restaurant in London. Galetti has been a judge on the BBC competitive cooking programme MasterChef: The Professionals since 2009 and has presented Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby with Giles Coren since 2017.
Galetti was born in Samoa, and was initially raised by two aunts as her mother had moved to Auckland, New Zealand, for work. At the age of eight, Galetti moved from Samoa to Wellington, New Zealand, and lived there with her parents and five siblings. In the early 1990s she studied for a diploma in hospitality at the Central Institute of Technology, Upper Hutt.
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. 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. She was the first woman to hold such a senior position at the restaurant.
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- "Kiwi chef: Moving from Samoa to NZ was the saddest time of my life". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2014. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "My Secret Life: Monica Galetti, chef, 35". The Independent. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "Chef Monica Galetti on Samoa, Sean Connery, and her life in travel | Loop Samoa". www.loopsamoa.com. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Jewell, Stephen (26 March 2011). "Monica Galetti: Kitchen mistress". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "Le Gavroche – The Team". Le-gavroche.co.uk. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Rayner, Jay (22 January 2011). "Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti: master and protege". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "MasterChef's Monica Galetti leaves Le Gavroche". Thecaterer.com. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Strictly come cooking with Masterchef's Monica Galetti". London Evening Standard. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- BBC Two – MasterChef: The Professionals – Episode guide
- "Monica Galetti to open Mere in January 2017". Thecaterer.com. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Desert Island Discs: Monica Galetti, chef and restaurateur". BBC News Online. 31 January 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
- "Chef live chat: Monica Galetti". The Guardian. 16 October 2012. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "The Team". Le Gavroche. Retrieved 8 December 2016.