Laurence Henry: 'MasterChef is like when you land on a ladder in a game of snakes and ladders'

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Sat Bains' former sous-chef and winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 Laurence Henry is planning the launch of a restaurant in his home town of Nottingham.

Since winning the competition last year, the chef's career has been turbo-boosted. 

In an interview with The Staff Canteen, the chef said: “I tell everyone, It’s a bit like a game of snakes and ladders; MasterChef is like when you land on a ladder and you go up to the next level, you’ve still got quite a long way to go but it’s a great little boost.”

“Gets you a few years ahead of where you might’ve been.”

What next?

Currently in the initial stages of opening his own restaurant in Nottingham, which he called "the fun part - until you start talking money and it's like, 'oh shit, I need to find x amount of money."

Investment hasn't been an issue for the chef, however, who said he received an outpouring of offers after winning the competition. 

"It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes, when you’re getting all these offers, you don’t know what to do with it all. It’s quite difficult as well as amazing.”

Hoping to open the doors early April, the chef said the restaurant will have a separate bar and will offer a tasting menu of modern British dishes, "highlighting local ingredients from my region." 

Asked what he feels he gained from taking part in MasterChef last year, the chef said that "it certainly opened a lot of doors and I got lots of opportunities that you probably wouldn’t get otherwise. Obviously it’s a great bit of exposure to increase your profile and like I said, give you opportunities like opening your own restaurant.”

Additionally, the chef said the competition gave him more self-assurance.

“The progress from start to finish upped my confidence massively. It gets you to do lots of different things you wouldn’t get to do normally, like designing your own dishes, which you don’t often get to do in the restaurant.”

"It was a cracking experience but I was pretty exhausted by the end of it. I’d do it all over again, it’s great fun even though it’s very very hard.”

What would the chef say to the contestants going into the competition this year? 

"It's all filmed already, so my advice is no good to them," he laughed. "But best of luck, I guess." 

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 17th October 2019

Laurence Henry: 'MasterChef is like when you land on a ladder in a game of snakes and ladders'