Final four - MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 Elly Wentworth

The Staff Canteen


Tonight is the start of finals week on MasterChef: The Professionals 2016. Let's meet Elly Wentworth, one of the final four MasterChef: The Professionals contestants hoping to impress Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti to be in with a chance of taking this year's title.

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 finalist Elly Wentworth
MasterChef: The Professionals 2016
finalist Elly Wentworth

Name: Elly Wentworth

Region: Wiltshire and Devon

Age: 24

Profession: Junior Sous Chef, Lucknam Park

Personal: Partner. 

Cooking Background: “I fell into cooking - I started in a local pub in Plymouth when I was 13 years old as a pot washer. One Saturday evening, they needed an extra hand… and the rest is history.

“I love my job and am passionate about a career where I step foot in the kitchen in the morning and work with an awesome team to produce some amazing food using really incredible ingredients. I enjoy helping my head chef come up with tasty dishes but it’s so important to produce plates of food that customers are going to love, and when they smile I do! That's all a chef can ask for.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to work at some amazing places including Michelin-starred restaurants such as Lucknam Park, where I’m currently Junior Sous Chef.”

>>> Related: South West Chef of the Year 2014 is Elly Wentworth


Influences: “For me it all started with Chris Tanner at Tanners in Plymouth. He's such an inspiration to young chefs out there to get into hospitality and that's what we need these days. Richard Davies at The Manor House in Castle Combe also gave me so much knowledge and experience, I owe most of my career to him. Most of all though, I’ve been lucky enough to work for my current Head Chef Hywel Jones. He's shown me how to cook with some of the best ingredients and he’s truly believed in me so I've gained real confidence. He's one of the most talented chefs I've ever worked for, and every day it's a delight to set foot in that kitchen and work with him.”

On MasterChef: “MasterChef has been the most challenging, toughest competition I've ever been in, and to reach the finals is a dream! The judges have believed in my cooking from day one and it's something to be proud of - but every time I've walked into the MC kitchen I've known I'm only as good as the plate of food I'm about to cook. To get to the final four in the competition, I’ve had to cook my heart out. In Knockout Week I had to produce the best two plates of food I've cooked throughout the series so far.

“The most challenging moment for me was The Chef’s Table. Cooking for the most talented chefs we have in the industry, it’s really nerve-wracking having five hours to produce 28 of the best plates of food I've ever cooked.”

Cooking ambitions: “I would love to see more women entering professional kitchens and people like Monica Galetti, Angela Hartnett, Lisa Allen and Claire Clark, are women I have long looked up to and aspired to be like. If in any small way my appearance on MasterChef: The Professionals helps I’ll be delighted.

“My ambitions as a young female chef are to push my ability, work with some of the most talented chefs in the South West and gain as much experience and knowledge from them as possible. I always try to aim high, as I always want to be at the top of my game and I'm always learning.

>>> Read: Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park, Wiltshire


“My plan for next year is to continue at Lucknam Park under Hywel Jones and my goal is to progress to sous chef level within six months. For now it's about gaining more experience, but I am aiming to be head chef of my own restaurant by the time I'm 27.”

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 – The Final Week, starts tonight, continues Wednesday 21st and concludes Thursday 22nd December, 8pm on BBC Two

>>> Find out more about other MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 contestants here

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Editor 20th December 2016

Final four - MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 Elly Wentworth