'Getting to the final is not something I ever believed I could do.' Stu Deeley, MasterChef: The Professionals 2019

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th December 2019

It's finals week on MasterChef: The Professionals 2019 - find out more about Stu deeley, head chef at the wilderness.

Name: Stu Deeley

Region: Birmingham

Age: 27 at the time of filming, now 28

Profession: Head Chef

Place of work: The Wilderness

Cooking Background

“I still live within a mile of where I grew up and while I’ve always travelled for work, I’ve never moved away. I am truly a Brummie, born and bred. I hated Senior School, it just wasn’t for me. I loved my mates and certain lessons, mostly cooking classes and P.E., but I used to bunk off school and go play in the park instead. I then went to Halesowen College to study cooking and found my real passion for the industry. I now work as Head Chef in a fine-dining restaurant in Birmingham.”

Influences

“My biggest influences, to date, have been Andreas Antona and Luke Tipping of Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham. Luke and Andreas really helped me put my past problems behind me. Being a Michelin-starred kitchen, there is a sense of family, ownership of your actions and also a regimented hierarchy which allows you to stay focused – and out of trouble! I also met my fiancé at work when she was front of house so our history, and now our little family, comes from the world of food and cooking, which is a really nice thing to have behind me on a daily basis.”

Food Passions

“I love all parts of cooking. I’m really interested in using intricate techniques that take a lot of practice to master and I love barbecuing meat and fish. My real passion is about showcasing what cuisines are available in Birmingham with a love for Asian flavours and produce. One of my favourite past times is visiting a giant Chinese supermarket just outside of Birmingham.”

On MasterChef: The Professionals

“I'm a person who sometimes lacks self-belief and I don’t like to push myself into the limelight. That's why I chose to enter the competition; to show my little boy that if you want something, you have to face your fears and go and get it.

“The most challenging part of the competition for me was the Skills Test in my Heat. I just stopped thinking like a chef. My mind shut off and I just made a few silly mistakes.

“Getting to the final is not something I ever believed I could do. It was just an amazing feeling to keep passing each round and beating my own expectations.”

Cooking ambitions

“My plans for the future are still under wraps, but I will be undertaking a project in Birmingham – watch this space!”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th December 2019

'Getting to the final is not something I ever believed I could do.' Stu Deeley, MasterChef: The Professionals 2019