Who is chef Daniel Marreiros, MasterChef: The Professionals 2021 finalist?

The  Staff Canteen

Introducing Daniel Marreiros, one of 32 chefs taking part in MasterChef: The Professionals 2021, airing on BBC One every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm.

A chef since 2012, Daniel is the head chef at Volta do Mar, a Portuguese restaurant on Tavistock Street in central London which was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2021.

He joined the restaurant as a senior sous-chef two years ago, and was named head chef last year.  Previously, Daniel worked as a sous chef at Sunborn Yacht Hotel, and before that he worked for the Salt Yard Group.

Daniel impressed the chefs in both his skills test and the signature round, then went onto cook for celebrated food critics Jay Rayner, Tracy McCleod and Jimi Famurewa in the quarter-finals. Despite tough competition from his fellow contestants, he and Matt Willdigg both secured a place in the semi-finals. 

Both his pop-up dish of red mullet and saffron broth and his signature dish went down a treat in the semi-finals.

Daniel made it through to finals week, and his skillfull cooking in the first round saw him through to the Chefs' Table, where his food was tasted by prominent names in the industry including Matt Abé, Daniel Clifford, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Nieves Barragán, Glynn Purnell, Michael Caines and Aktar Islam.

In the next step of the finals, airing on Wednesday 15th December 2021 on BBC One at 9pm, he will join the three remaining finalists in the MasterChef kitchen for two final challenges before one is eliminated and the others go on to cook at Alain Ducassse at The Dorchester under executive chef Jean-Phillippe Blondet at the three Michelin-starred restaurant.

Instagram: @danieldmarreiros

Biography

Region: London, originally from Portugal

Age: 28

Personal: Single. Younger brother.

Cooking background: Growing up in Portugal, I was always very interested by the idea of cooking for other people. I liked the way my grandmother used to cook for us as it’s a way to share love.

At the age of 18, I went to train at the School of Hotel and Tourism in Portimão and on my first day, I knew immediately that I was in the right place. I loved the environment, the rush, the care and the devotion that it demands from you.

I moved to London in 2015 and have since cooked in a wide range of restaurants across the city, including the Michelin-starred Kitchen W8 and most recently as head chef at Portuguese restaurant, Volta Do Mar.

Influences: Earlier in life, my grandmother was a huge influence on my food journey. I remember coming back home from school, we would all go for lunch at my her house. Time stopped as she would bring the family together around the table. We ate and shared how our day was going. Very soon, I realised that cooking is a form of showing love and care for others without speaking. I believe food carries the love you exhale.

Food passions: I like to take care of others through food - to be able to put a smile on their faces and make them happy. Equally, I love the kitchen environment. It´s a tough place that brings a lot of joy and builds character. There’s great camaraderie in working together – experiencing the rush and pressure of getting ready for service.

On MasterChef: The Professionals: For years, I’ve been watching the competition closely. I’ve always thought to myself, "one day I´m going do it," and it’s finally happened! I love the challenge that MasterChef presents and its intensity.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the skills test has been the most stressful challenge. It was such a shock for me, but somehow, I quite enjoyed it. It’s an overwhelming feeling to find myself in the final week. It doesn’t feel real at all and I’m super grateful. I think everyone is going to bring their A-game. It’s going to be very tough. 

Cooking ambitions: As soon as MasterChef is over, I’m going to be taking a well-earned rest to recharge my batteries and get ready for the next chapter. I would love to get involved in a project that gives me full freedom in my creativity and beliefs.

In the future, I would love to have my own restaurant. It would be a place that has an open kitchen, where the guests come in and we are able to greet and engage with them in a unpretentious, relaxed environment – where we all have fun. I want to have the platform to keep polishing my food style and beliefs. If I can share that with the world, then perfect!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th December 2021

Who is chef Daniel Marreiros, MasterChef: The Professionals 2021 finalist?