Monica Galetti returns to MasterChef: The Professionals - when is she back?

monica galetti
Welcome back, Monica Galetti. (BBC)

Monica Galetti has been sorely missed from the current series of MasterChef: The Professionals - but the good news for fans is, she's coming back.

The chef and TV star will make a guest appearance for finals week, joining her old colleagues in judging the contestants. Here's all you need to know.

When is Monica Galetti back on MasterChef: The Professionals?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/11/2021 - Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - TX: n/a - Episode: Masterchef: The Professionals S14 - Judge Generics (No. Judge Generics) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER** Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti - (C) Shine TV - Photographer: Production
Monica Galetti will rejoin old co-stars Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace. (BBC)

Galetti is set to make a guest return to the series for finals week as a judge at the notoriously tough chef's table round.

A mainstay of the final, it sees contestants present their version of fine dining to a table of industry-renowned chefs who will judge the results.

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This year's chef's table line-up includes Galetti, Jason Atherton, Matt Abé and some new Michelin-starred talent, and will take place at the Lanesborough Hotel in London.

See Galetti at the chef's table in the first of the finals week episodes tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm on Channel 4.

Why has Monica Galetti not been on this series of MasterChef: The Professionals?

Masterchef: The Professionals S13 - The Judges: Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace - (Shine TV)
The old gang were split up this series. (BBC)

After 14 series on the show, it was a shock to fans when earlier this year Galetti announced that she would be stepping down from her role as a judge this time.

She has been replaced by Anna Haugh, who judges alongside Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace, but hinted she may make a more permanent return in future.

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Galetti explained that she needed to focus on her family, and on rebuilding her restaurant business which had been hit hard by COVID lockdowns.

MasterChef judges
Anna Haugh joined the cast this year. (BBC)

Talking to The One Show in May, Galetti said: "I’ve only been able to commit time to the show for three months when my team are strong, and I can have the balance of family, the restaurant and all my other commitments.

"When I’m filming, people don’t realise I do a 12-hour day of filming, and then I will get back to the restaurant in the evening."

She continued: "But at the moment, things are just out of sync, things are tough at the moment.

"I’m trying to spend time with my family, I have an ill nephew that I try to get back to see and filming was all starting at the same time.

"I’m short at the restaurant, I’m here tonight and straight after this I’m back in my kitchen."

Galetti, 46, added: "I just found I cannot manage the balance this time, and I just knew that something had to give, I think for my own mental health as well.

"It was just getting very dark trying to give 100% to this and 100% to that, and sometimes you just can’t do it all."

When is the final of MasterChef: The Professionals?

Finals week spans three episodes, starting tonight with the chef's table episode at 8pm on BBC One.

On Thursday at 8pm, four contestants are whittled down to three in a challenge that sees them cook for some formidable restaurant critics.

In the grand final at 6.15pm on Sunday, the final three each prepare a three-course menu for the judges in the hope of being crowned the series champion.

MasterChef: The Professionals continues tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

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