Who is chef Ryan Baker, MasterChef: The Professionals 2021 finalist?

The  Staff Canteen

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

27 year-old Ryan Baker is the sous-chef at Maison François, a French brasserie located in central London.

With ten years of experience in professional kitchens under his belt, Ryan has an appetite for competitions, and was a finalist in the Roux Scholarship in both 2019 and 2021.

Ryan didn't succumb to the pressure of the skills test despite some slight technical mishaps, and impressed the judges in the signature round with a main course of Turbot with morels, lardo, lemon gel and asparagus and a chocolate cremeux, shortbread, hazelnut and spun sugar dessert. 

After cooking for food critics Jay Rayner, Grace Dent and Tom Parker-Bowles, Ryan secured a spot in the semi-finals of the competition. Then, impressing fellow chefs with his pop-up dish of faggots and sauce chasseur, followed by another signature round cooking for the judges, Ryan made it through to finals week, which will air on Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th December 2021.

Instagram: @ryan_baker94

Biography

Region: London

Age: 27 (26 during filming)

Personal: Girlfriend. Has a brother and sister.

Cooking background: I grew up in Ruislip, North West London, around my mum and grandparents who would cook and bake a lot. I first became interested in cooking from their amazing food. So I moved away from home at 16 when I was accepted onto the Specialised Chefs' Scholarship, set up by the Academy of Culinary Arts at Bournemouth College.

Influences: There are two head chefs who have really inspired me and pushed me to do my best - Jeremy Trehout and Frederick Forster.

Food passions: I absolutely love making clean, sharp looking food with big flavour. I’m always wanting to learn and use ingredients and methods I haven’t tried before. I feel in cooking, learning never ever stops.

On MasterChef: The Professionals: All these lockdowns got me thinking that there is no time like the present, so I went for it. I felt like it was the right moment to showcase what I can do and that I’d gained enough confidence in myself for MasterChef to be a good option.

To get to the finals feels like I’ve made it. It’s at least as far as I wanted to get and I couldn’t be prouder of myself for coming this far! It’s a fierce competition so the judges must have seen something in me to take one of these precious final places.

I’d have to say during the skills test (Monica’s crepes with chocolate hazelnut spread, berries and chantilly) and the colour-themed test in the quarter-finals were the most stressed I can remember feeling.

It’s such a tense situation where you don’t know what you will have to cook. To make something on the spot, knowing it’ll be on TV - scary stuff! 

Cooking ambitions: I’m currently the sous-chef at French brasserie, Maison Francois, in central London. 
One day I’d love to be the head chef of a restaurant where I can make the food I am passionate about - classical French food using the best British produce. 

Another really fun option would be launching some pop-ups. I think the whole concept of them is appealing after trying it out for the pop-up challenge during the semi-finals, and it’s a great way for people to try my food.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th December 2021

Who is chef Ryan Baker, MasterChef: The Professionals 2021 finalist?