Veterinary surgeon, Brin Pirathapan, has claimed the prestigious title of MasterChef Champion 2024, triumphing at the end of the 20th series of TV’s biggest cooking competition. Brin was awarded the coveted MasterChef trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace on BBC One. Becoming part of MasterChef history, 28-year-old Brin (now 29) joins two decades of outstanding champions - Thomasina Miers, Peter Bayless, James Nathan, Mat Follas, Dhruv Baker, Tim Anderson, Shelina Permalloo, Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, Kenny Tutt, Irini Tzortzoglou, Thomas Frake, Tom Rhodes, Eddie Scott, and last year’s champion, Chariya Khattiyot.

Cooking his way past 57 other culinary competitors after eight weeks of increasingly tough challenges, Brin’s high stakes cook-off was in the Final Three, against the exceptional runners-up, Louise Lyons Macleod, 44, (43 while filming) and Chris Willoughby, 44. John told the finalists: “Twenty years, we’ve been doing MasterChef. That is the best final we’ve ever done.”

On his win, Brin reacted with: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits. I can’t breathe! I’m a big mix of my background, my culture and all the opportunities my parents have given me. They’ve been incredible and I’ve done it for them as much as I’ve done it for myself. The experience itself has been incredible and to top it off with this is just the most amazing thing, ever.”

MasterChef judge, John Torode, says: “Brin is an extraordinary cook and an amazing talent. He takes combinations that don’t sound like they belong together, but they actually work. Today, he’s delivered three absolutely sensational courses that could grace the table of any restaurant up and down the land.”

MasterChef judge, Gregg Wallace, commented: “These are ingredient combinations that Brin is inventing. That makes him dangerously clever. He’s got technique, he’s got creativity. In my experience, Brin is unique. One of the cleverest talents I’ve ever, ever seen.”

Brin’s winning menu started with fried capers, pickled chilli, pickled and charred shallots, orange and honey-glazed octopus with tempura mussels, herb tuilles dusted with scallop roe, an orange gel and samphire, on a romesco sauce. Gregg told Brin: “It’s delightful. This is a beautiful piece of work,” and John added: “Your mind and how it works, I’m not quite sure. But I’d eat the whole plate. I’d eat three plates.”

Talking about what drives his creativity in the kitchen, he added: “The areas of cooking I love are truly an amalgamation of my Tamil Sri Lankan heritage and my British upbringing. I have a passion for creating dishes with bold flavours but refining them to high standards with European techniques. I like to pull flavour combinations from all over the world and create balanced dishes.”

Looking back over his time on MasterChef, Brin says: “My personal highlight of the competition was the 20th anniversary dinner. Receiving a huge standing ovation from a room full of culinary royalty was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had. I’ve loved cooking for John and Gregg but it’s been absolutely nerve racking and waiting for their feedback during tastings feels like an eternity! They are such a pleasure to cook for. No matter how stressful this competition can be, it’s been fantastic. It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life and all I know is, I have to involve cooking in my future”.

On his next goals, Brin says: “I’d love to have a future in the food industry. Waking up every morning knowing that I’m doing something I absolutely love would be a great feeling. It would be incredible to write a cookbook and, explore supper clubs or private dining. Longer term, I’d love food to take me all over the world. MasterChef has already given me an opportunity to cook for some of my absolute heroes – including Tom Kitchin, Monica Galetti, Pierre Koffman. I’d love to do another Chef’s Table for some more of the greats and see what they really think of my food! I feel like I’ve got so much more to learn and this is hopefully just the beginning.”

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