The MasterChef 20th Anniversary Dinner welcomed over 70 extraordinary guests to an uplifting evening of celebration. The guest list included people who have all played a part in the MasterChef journey across the last two decades – from champions, finalists to guest critics and top chefs.

John Torde - MasterChef Judge: "The majority of the guests have gone on to do things in food. Whether that be writing a book or doing something to do with food advisory or making charcuterie or making macarons or doing restaurants they've all gone on to do amazing, amazing things."

India Fisher – MasterChef Narrator: "MasterChef means a hell of a lot to me. There aren't many jobs that last 20 years and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this amazing family and this glorious evening, and I'm really looking forward to finally getting to taste some food! Having never been able to taste anything in 20 years of recording for it, I hope that the food is worth the wait. I'm sure it will be."

Monica Galetti – MasterChef:The Professionals Judge: "To me MasterChef is 15 years of working with the best friends that you can have in a crew. We've all grown together, our families, seeing them get married and settled. Now for me, as a judge discovering the next talent coming through, the excitement in that, honestly, every year it keeps getting better."

Poppy O’Toole - Young MasterChef Judge: "MasterChef to me, means new talent, amazing food and a job, so I love it! Can you believe it's been 20 years of MasterChef?! That is huge! My message to the fans would be to keep watching, keep savouring each delicious dish, and most importantly, keep cooking and come on board!"

Big Has - Young MasterChef Judge: "MasterChef means to me years of secretly watching it before becoming an actual chef. Also, it’s now a new avenue for me because I'm a judge on Young MasterChef and I love it."

Grace Dent - Food Critic: "Seeing my face on the greatest cooking show on British TV is still, after 12 years, the biggest thrill. MasterChef makes the food stars of the future and I get to eat their food before anyone else. It’s a massive honour."

Jay Rayner - Food Critic: "After almost two decades as a critic on MasterChef, I've come to regard it as the gold standard against which all other cooking shows should be judged. There is no doubt that, over the years, it has become so much more than just great TV, although it is most certainly that. It is now a vital part of the culinary conversation, a platform which exposes each new food trend to sharp eyed examination."

Tom Kerridge – Chef: "MasterChef has been one of the most iconic and great British food programmes over the last 20 years, showcasing our culinary diversity with exceptional standards, from amateurs all the way through to professionals. For all of you that have been watching MasterChef for the last 20 years, I’m in your gang!"

Michel Roux Jr - Chef: "MasterChef is for me all about inspiring the next generation of chefs and helping them achieve their dreams. A joy to be a part of and thrilling to watch. MasterChef never disappoints, always cooked to perfection."

Nieves Barragan Mohacho – Chef: MasterChef I think is one of the best ways to find amazing future chefs. I love MasterChef. I think we need it because we need to find the future and the future chefs in this industry. And I think the way we present, and the ways we love. I just love it. I think we need to keep doing this, we need this TV on."

Chariya Khattiyot – MasterChef Champion 2023: "MasterChef, for me, is like a family, a big, big family. If it wasn't for MasterChef, I think I would still be roasting coffee at my little coffee roastery, and then probably just stay there. I would probably try to apply again, I don't know!"

Thomas Frake - MasterChef Champion 2020: "MasterChef changed my life. It's such a journey to have been a part of - it's such an incredible brand and programme. And it was very, very exciting to be at the 20th anniversary celebration. MasterChef afforded me the opportunity to go into the world of cuisine, working in foods, and running my own pub. So, it has completely changed my life."

Irini Tzortzoglou – MasterChef Champion 2019: "MasterChef marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life. It ignited a journey of continuous learning, propelling me to become an expert in olive oil and honey. It brought me more joy in my professional life than I had ever felt before and by opening numerous avenues for me to pursue, rejuvenated me at an age where many feel overlooked and marginalized."

Kenny Tutt - MasterChef Champion 2018: "MasterChef is more than just another TV show. I always remember rushing home from work desperate to see what new exciting dishes people would create under the watchful eye of the judges. It really sparked something inside of me and unlocked a new skill that grew and grew over the years. I often think where I’d be now if it wasn’t for MasterChef. It really did change everything for me and I went on to start several food businesses in an industry that’s super addictive."

Jane Devonshire – MasterChef Champion 2016: "MasterChef changed my life, it has meant the world to me. I have a business where I am working with fabulous clients planning amazing bespoke hospitality events across the UK and abroad, of course, revolving around food. It’s exciting, every day is different, I’m meeting new people and facing new interesting challenges."

Tim Anderson - MasterChef Champion 2011: "Like Gregg always said, ‘whoever wins, it’s gonna change their life.’ He sure was right. Winning MasterChef led me to have all sorts of amazing experiences, and I have MasterChef to thank for my current career as a food writer, which is a dream come true."

Mat Follas - MasterChef Champion 2009: "Very much the start of a journey, lots of life changes, a lot of fun, bloody hard work and challenges. I’ve no regrets at being on the show, would definitely do it all again. I probably wouldn't have had a chance to write several cookbooks! MasterChef gives the dream that jump start that TV can offer."

James Nathan – MasterChef Champion 2008: "MasterChef is like a big family really. MasterChef means a lot to me. It was the defining moment in my life and I really took off in the career that I wanted. Without MasterChef, I would have been a very boring lawyer! But as it turns out, I had a wonderful career in catering."

Thomasina Miers - MasterChef Champion 2005: "It was a life-changing moment for me, in that I had been searching for a metier ever since I left school and I kept coming back to cooking. It was an amazing blessing to have John and Gregg’s seal of approval - their view that I was good enough to do this mad passion as a career, for a job."

Images: BBC/Shine TV. The MasterChef series is available to watch on catchup on the BBC iPlayer