MasterChef: The Professionals are gearing up for their last kitchen battles as the competition enters finals week. Just three chefs remain in the BBC One contest, all hungry to win the title of Professionals champion - but who will lift the trophy? Here's all you need to know about the final and those left in it.
When is MasterChef: The Professionals finals week?
Finals week has arrived, with three episodes to find out who has been crowned the 2023 winner. The BBC One contest's finals kicked off on Wednesday, 6 December at 8pm and will then continue on Thursday and Friday at the same time.
Who are the MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 finalists?
There are now three chefs left in the final, all hoping to lift this year's trophy.
Charlie, 23, head chef from Cornwall
Charlie made it to the final stages but ended up coming fourth in the competition.
During his time in the kitchen, the Cornwall-born chef impressed with dishes from his home county and his skill when it came to cooking fish. Charlie - who dreams of having his own restaurant - said just getting to the final was a "massive achievement".
Viewers are also convinced he has a bright career ahead despite not winning the show.
"Charlie did so well for a 22 yr old chef," one said on X. "I thought his Cornish inspired fish & egg dish looked delicious - would have been my choice on a menu of the three savoury dishes served. I think he has a great future ahead regardless of the decision."
"Sorry to see Charlie go," said someone else, as another fan called him "outstanding". "Charlie you were robbed mate!" said someone else.
Kasae, 29, head chef from Bristol (originally from Australia)
"Cooking has always been a big part of my life. My family aren’t chefs but we’ve always loved food. Whether it’s sweet or savoury, everyone has their thing that they love," Kasae said.
"The second skills test has definitely my toughest round yet. I really struggled with it. I was expecting to be given parameters to work within, so when it was just an open invention test, I had a total blank and couldn’t manage to pull myself back from that. It was rough.
"I spent the first half of the competition doubting myself and then I had a mental shift, where I knew I had to believe in myself or I’d never make it. Then I started to enjoy it, which made it a lot easier to be proud of how far I’d come.
"I didn’t know how far I would get - it’s a really tough group of chefs to cook against. But I’m more than proud that I’ve made it to finals week and have the chance to cook not just against, but alongside these chefs."
Tom, 24, sous chef from Horsham
Tom "first became interested in cooking because my mum and dad worked late so I would cook me and my siblings dinner from about 12 or 13 years old".
"My dad is a chef and his attempt to convince me not to be a chef made me want to do it even more," he said. "My mum is an excellent baker as well as my dad being a chef, so I do think cooking is in my blood, and it’s nice that we can work so close by each other at South Lodge Hotel.
"When I got the call saying I made it into the competition I was absolutely terrified and almost dreading it. I didn't believe I was good enough. But during the competition I learnt to have more trust in my abilities. How differently things have turned out! I'm so relieved to be in finals week.
"Now it’s at the point where win or lose, I can hold my head up high and appreciate how far I have come. Saying that - I'm going to give it my all and hopefully still be there at the very end."
Tommy, 27, head chef from Bristol
Tommy said: "I decided to enter the competition for mixed reasons. I’ve been a huge fan of the show from a very young age and I wanted to push myself to set an example for my son. Getting to finals week is something I am extremely proud of.
"The competition has been such a learning curve and I’ve enjoyed each and every round. It feels like a bit of a dream. The competition has come with many challenges and one that sticks to mind is the pop-up round. To cook for that many people in a new environment is something I’ve not had much experience in.
"My number one ambition is to take on the reigns of my own restaurant and serve food that I love to eat, as well as cook. I’d like to keep bettering my skills and take on new opportunities to the best of my ability. My plan is to do something that I can really drive everything into. What that is, I’m not too sure yet, but I’m excited for a new challenge."
What are the final challenges?
In Wednesday's episode, the finalists faced a challenge that would strike fear into the heart of the most accomplished cook - Chef's Table.
The great and good of the cookery world gathered at St Pancras' Renaissance Hotel, where the contestants had to do their best to impress some industry giants before heading back to the MasterChef kitchen for another challenge.
On Thursday the remaining cooks head off on MasterChef's annual trip abroad, this time to Denmark and the Michelin-starred The Alchemist under the leadership of head chef Rasmus Munk.
He calls the 50 dishes on his menu "impressions" as they tell a story designed to prompt an emotion, and the contestants will have the daunting task of creating their own impressions for him.
Friday features the traditional MasterChef final, as the last three each produce their best three-course meal in the MasterChef kitchen to show judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace everything they've learned.
Who won MasterChef: The Professionals last year?
The 2022 winner was Derbyshire chef Nikita Pathakji, who is continuing her successful career with monthly supper clubs where she often serves up dishes that featured in her MasterChef repertoire. Pathakji was the show's first female winner since 2012, when Keri Moss was crowned dual champion with Anton Piotrowski.
MasterChef: The Professionals continues on Wednesday, 6 December at 8pm on BBC One.
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