Who is MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 chef, Luke Rhodes?

The  Staff Canteen

Introducing Luke Rhodes, one of 32 contestants on MasterChef: The Professionals 2020, airing on BBC One for six weeks from November 10th until the final on thursday 17th December. 

Luke is a senior sous-chef at Halifax Hall in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and was in shock when he found out that he had been selected to take part in MasterChef: The Professionals - because he didn't sign up for it, his wife Jessica did on his behalf. 

He impressed judges Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing as well as critics Jay Rayner and Tracy MacLeod in the quarter-finals, and will be one of ten chefs in the semi-finals on the week of December 8th.

1) Full name

Luke Rhodes

2) Nickname

Lukey

3) Age

26

4) Where are you from / where do you live?

Born in Sheffield, Live in Sheffield

5)Are you married/in a relationship/do you have any kids?

Yes I have been married to my wife Jess for 3 years and we have recently welcomed our first child, Dolly.

6) What type of a chef are you?

I’m classically trained and enjoy fine dining, but I love classic American BBQ. Being from Yorkshire, hearty food has been drilled into me from a young age so I like to balance both hearty and fine dining in my cooking.

7) do you have a favourite type of cuisine?

 I enjoy cooking and eating a lot of different cuisines but my favourite cuisine is American BBQ.

8) How did you become a chef? (e.g. formal training, apprenticeship, self-taught? 

I started training at The Sheffield College when I was 16, where I gained a professional chef diploma while working at a 1 Michelin star restaurant.

9) Where have you worked?

My first job was at The Handmade Burger Co when I was 16. Over the years I have worked at The Old Vicarage in Sheffield, Cutlers Hall, Red True BBQ and Karnivore BBQ. I also took 2 years out and worked at Char Char Bull, a 2 hat/Gold plated steak restaurant in Perth, Australia. I currently work at Halifax Hall, a boutique hotel in the middle of Sheffield, which is apart of the Sheffield University.

10) Who are your mentors/role models/people you look up to, in your professional and/or personal life?

I wouldn’t be where I am now without my college lecturers, Len Unwin, Mick Burke and Neil Taylor. They taught me everything I needed to know, to get me into the business. I have always looked up to both Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing, I own a lot of their cookbooks and have always admired their dedication to the hospitality industry. To get the opportunity to cook for them has been a dream come true and I will never forget this experience.

11) What is your guilty pleasure dish (not necessarily cheffy, cheesy baked beans on toast is a perfectly respectable reply!)?

 My wife’s homemade triple chocolate brownies. They’re filthy.

12) What is the best thing / worst thing about being a chef? 

The best thing about being a chef is putting in all the hours, developing a dish and it finally making it onto the menu, customers ordering it and enjoying something you have put so much hard work into. It gives you the sense of fulfilment. The worse thing about being a chef is time away from your family on special occasions such as Christmas, Birthday etc.

13)  How did it feel to step onto the set of MasterChef: The Professionals?

I have always watched MasterChef - from the years of John and Greg to The Professionals starting with Michel Roux Jr To now Monica and Marcus and every year, it only gets harder!

But for me the best thing about the show is that it showcases what up and coming talent there is in the industry and believe me it’s not easy walking on to that set. It’s larger than life and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand: people that have messed up on the show before doesn’t make them a bad chef, the pressure you're put under is phenomenal and it’s easy to crack (especially walking through those kitchen doors to Gregg, Marcus, and Monica all stood waiting for you to do a skills test)!

For me the whole experience was absolutely phenomenal I made some great friends and met some outstanding chefs from that show so if you ever are considering applying definitely do it :) 

14) How did 2020 compare you what you thought it would be this time last year?

This time last year, I thought 2020 would be a really busy for the hospitality industry, especially with the rise of food trucks and street food, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted what was to come. We’ve all learnt a lesson from this year, we have to think on our feet and push on.

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.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd December 2020

Who is MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 chef, Luke Rhodes?