MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS WINNER

Tom Hamblet, 24, has been awarded the prestigious title of MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2023. Tom took on 31 other professionals, all striving to make it to the end of seven weeks of increasingly demanding culinary challenges. As the 17th chef to claim the coveted trophy, Tom takes his place in MasterChef history alongside other exceptional champions: Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott; Mark Stinchcombe; Gary Maclean; Craig Johnston; Laurence Henry; Stu Deeley, Alex Webb, Dan Lee and last year’s winner, Nikita Pathakji.

Tom, who comes from a cheffing family, took on 31 other professionals, all striving to make it to the end of seven weeks of increasingly demanding culinary challenges.

Along the way, he delivered some outstanding plates of food, impressing not only the judges but also the restaurant critics and some of the country’s leading chefs. In the Quarter Final, Grace Dent said: “That is the best dessert I’ve had on MasterChef in all the years I’ve been here.” and Michelin-starred Jun Tanaka said his food was “absolutely on point” during the final week Chef’s Table challenge.

Reacting to his win, Tom said: “I’m lost for words. It’s been such a good experience. I’ve done it! The trophy’s here. I’m holding it! I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m just going to enjoy the moment.”

Marcus Wareing commented: “From the minute that young chef stepped into this kitchen he’s been consistent and he’s delivered at every single level. Tom’s food today was technical, it was beautiful and most importantly, it was delicious.”

Monica Galetti said: “I find now he’s bringing his little modern twists, his personality, his cheekiness into his cooking. His food has been cracking throughout, and he’s still so young.”

Gregg Wallace added: “The flavours of his dishes, for me, enter the world of exquisite. His food is beautiful and it’s absolutely banging delicious. Tom is a talent. I think today, we watched a very young chef come of age. Someone who’s always had the technical ability, but today was brave enough to put his own stamp on the classical.”

In an intense Final Week, Tom was up against ambitious and talented chefs: Charlie Walters, Kasae Fraser, and Tommy Thorn (27) who both also competed in tonight’s Grand Final.

Tom had to use all of his skill, creativity and determination to best his competitors through high-stakes rounds. The first challenge of the week saw them cooking a four-course dinner at the daunting Chef’s Table. The diners were 24 culinary giants with 22 Michelin stars between them and included three former MasterChef: The Professionals contestants.

The Final Three then embarked on the trip of a lifetime to the boundary-pushing two Michelin-starred Alchemist in Copenhagen, Denmark, as Head Chef Rasmus Munk led them into an immersive, breath-taking world where science, art and food collide. The chefs had just hours to master extraordinarily creative dishes as part of an epic 50-course tasting menu and deliver to a whole new level.

Tom’s winning menu started with a poached native lobster tail, filled with lobster claw meat in a lobster and chilli oil, topped with a lemon verbena gel, courgette balls and a creamy lobster and tomato sauce Américaine. Gregg told Tom: “This is a great, light dish that really packs a flavour punch.”

The main was seared beef fillet on a bed of pan-fried oyster mushrooms, served with braised beef cheek wrapped in brick pastry, and topped with a poached oyster. Marcus reacted with: “Everything on this plate is cooked beautifully and your attention to detail is exquisite.”

To finish, Tom served an olive oil sponge filled with an olive oil jam, topped with a set lemon curd, crème fraiche cream, fennel tops and a fennel pollen tuille. Monica’s take on the dessert was: “It’s just a delightful way to finish your meal. I love it, love it, love it!”.

(Images: BBC/Shine TV)