Storming back to BBC Three, Young MasterChef returns for a second series, as nine of Britain’s best young cooks press pause on their day jobs to put their cooking skills to the test. Judging their every move is Michelin-trained social media sensation Poppy O’Toole, who is joined by a new judge – chef, author, and YouTube food star, Big Has. Britain’s food revolution is hotter than ever and fierce young foodies, hungry for success, are paving the way with exciting street food, pop-ups, and foodie followers on socials. Those who are rewriting the rules and stirring up the industry now take another leap into the MasterChef kitchen. Who has what it takes to reach the endgame? The stage is set for the ultimate kitchen battle, as Young MasterChef returns to shake things up for 2024.

A Big Welcome to Big Has

It’s a major honour to be involved in a show as prestigious as MasterChef. Seeing the contestants’ eagerness to learn and show off their backgrounds through food is something that I’m all about. 

A lot of the contestants are actually younger than I was when I started cooking. So it’s good to see the new generation of cooks understand and appreciate ingredients, tell their stories through food and share cherished family moments with us on TV. I actually learnt a lot of new things from the contestants. 

For me, it’s about finding that person with drive, ambition and an ability to bounce back. I also feel that being able to understand your mistakes being able to rectify them without feeling like the world is against you is very important too.

Welcome Back to Poppy O'Toole

I can’t believe they’ve let me back in the MasterChef kitchen to actually judge and host again. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so excited to be back and working with Big Has on this series. I’ve been looking for an excuse to get back in the kitchen with him. I also love to see all the young talent come through and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

It’s so important in the hospitality industry to keep on bringing new people in. We need spaces for people to come in and show us their talent and their passion. Young MasterChef is a great platform to get that exposure and discover what they want in a future career.

Images: BBC/Shine TV

Young MasterChef is on BBC Three and iPlayer from Monday 8 January.