Restaurant Critic, Jay Rayner, has been awarded the title of MasterChef: Battle of the Critics 2023 Champion and laid claim to the brand new Golden Cutlery trophy, as he out-cooked fellow Restaurant Critics Grace Dent, Leyla Kazim, William Sitwell, and Jimi Famurewa in this special festive episode.


Jay served his winning two-course menu to the MasterChef judges and also to three guest critics and MasterChef trophy winners: Ping Coombes – MasterChef Champion 2014, Kenny Tutt – MasterChef Champion 2018, and Nikita Pathakji – MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2022.

MasterChef judge John Torode says: “Jay today was all about generosity, we had six different types of seafood with fregola, little toasted bits of pasta, I’ve got to say. I thought it was pretty special.”

MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace added: “Jay’s chocolate pudding with the cherries was beautiful. I loved it, the dining room loved it. Pretty damn good.”


Jay’s main was an Italian Seafood Fregola with Sardinian pasta, stewed squid, clams, mussels, prawns, scallops, and seabass. He finished with a baked chocolate and cherry pudding, with a red wine sauce and a cherry cream. 

On his win, Jay says: “I am beyond honoured, thank you very, very much. I will covet this. I’m absolutely delighted with this. I’ve not really publicly cooked much, I’ve been the critic, the writer. So, to get this feels like a really good tick from teacher. I’m absolutely made up, it’s fantastic.”

Images: BBC/Shine TV