Launching on January 2, fifteen contestants will make their way to the brand-new Young MasterChef UK kitchen, and show us if they've got what it takes to become the first Young MasterChef champion. Focusing on “food talent” aged from 18 to 25, the ten-part series will see a panel of expert judges and celebrity guests put contestants’ skills to the test. Each episode, the contestants will be set a new challenge that's set to take them out of their comfort zones, test their creativity and see who has what it takes to make it all the way to the end of the competition.

Poppy O'Toole & Kerth Gumbs

Young MasterChef UK will be fronted by judges Poppy O’Toole, who trained as a chef in a Michelin-starred kitchen and rose to fame on TikTok, and professional chef and Great British Menu finalist Kerth Gumbs. This new addition to the MasterChef universe will see an array of new and exciting challenges for the up-and-comers (all aged between 18 and 25), as well as feature well-known and world-renowned foodie guests throughout the series.

Poppy said: "We are in a position where not that many people are interested in creating food anymore; we’ve got so many things, takeaways and delivery apps, food boxes, and it’s all incredible, but we still need people to be interested in cooking at home. Being able to see people of your own age, whether you’re gen Z or millennial, enjoying food, cooking food, taking time to get into food, then it’s inspirational.”

Kerth grew up on a Caribbean island whose economy relied on tourism. "My mum was a chef and always catered for events like weddings and funerals on the island. I was always drawn to the sounds of appreciation and how everyone would thank her and say how delicious the food was. So when it came to decide whether I wanted to do auto mechanics, woodwork or food at school, I went for food. It just resonated with me – and it was also nice to be one of only a few boys in a class full of girls at that age!"

Young MasterChef UK Contestants

Meet the fifteen contestants who will make their way to the brand-new Young MasterChef kitchen, and show us if they've got what it takes to become the first Young MasterChef champion.

Adriana, 22, Engineer: “I feel I have a lot to learn but I also have a lot to bring to the table and I’d love to share that.”

Beth, 21, Midwife: “I always wondered if I should have gone into it as a job and this tests me to see if I am good enough.”

Olatunde (Bobby), 19, Student: “I’m constantly trying new food, and meeting people with the same passion for cooking.”

Charlie, 23, DJ: “This is a great opportunity to develop my hobby and see if I could do it for a living, in one form or another.”

Elysse, 24, Social Media Manager: “I love cooking and I want my son to know you can do anything that you put your mind to.”

Jaheel, 20, Student: “I want to get better and become a rounded and skilled chef and make my family proud.”

Jordan, 21, Vegan Entrepreneur: “I love to push myself and I feel that the competition will help me put my skills to the test”

Kara, 25, Social Media Assistant: “I hope to show off my skills – get some feedback to give me the confidence to take the plunge”

Keziah, 21, Student: “I’m a firm believer in why not giving it a go, what’s the worst that can happen? I want to learn.”

Lea, 24, Lash Artist: “I used to run a small home takeaway service a few years back, then I became a mum and life took over.”

Myles, 19, Carer: “I love to eat, I love food and I love people, so this is perfect! And I want to become a better cook.”

Nathan, 22, Acting Student: “I want to improve my skills rather than show them off, so I thought why not!”

Nazia, 22, Nurse: “I’m at the stage now where I want to push things to the next level and this is the perfect place to do this!”

Oscar, 22, Waiter: “I want to challenge myself and see what I’m made o. I don’t want to go through life and think what if. “

Xavier, 20, Student: ”I hope to show off my skills and meet other aspiring chef’s who have similar dreams like I do.”

Images: BBC/ShineTV. Catch up now on BBC iPlayer