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

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th October 2019

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." 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th October 2019

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