Laurence Henry from Restaurant Sat Bains wins MasterChef: The Professionals 2018

The Staff Canteen

Laurence Henry, sous chef at two Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains, has won MasterChef: The Professionals 2018.

The youngest of this year’s finalists, Laurence is the twelfth winner to be awarded the prestigious title, and become part of Professional MasterChef history, along with outstanding past champions: Gary Maclean; Derek Johnstone; Steve Groves; Claire Lara; Ash Mair, joint winners Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski; Steven Edwards; Jamie Scott; Mark Stinchcombe and last year’s winner, Craig Johnston.

Taking on 47 fellow professional chefs in the pursuit of culinary perfection, Laurence battled through seven weeks of fierce competition and extraordinary cooking in the demanding challenges.

Reacting to his win, Laurence said: “It has been a really long journey, I have certainly learnt a lot about myself and found my feet. With this kind of ending who knows what the future holds; it is just so exciting. Hopefully though this is the first step in the long road to the chef I want to be one day.”  

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Th e2018 finalists: Oli Martin, Laurence Henry (winner), Matthew Ryle and Dean Banks.

As well as impressing Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, renowned chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef’s seasoned judge Gregg Wallace, Laurence also received critical acclaim throughout the series. Bringing food critic Jay Rayner to a stunned halt when he said, 'I have absolutely nothing critical to say' whilst critiquing his lamb dish during The Critic’s round.

Monica Galetti said: “Laurence is a chef who cooks from the heart. He is such a talented chef and the world is his to conquer. He has confidence and a true understanding of flavour. What a future this young chef has.” 

Marcus Wareing added: “The food Laurence has cooked for us during the competition has been outstanding. He is inventive, creative and he leaves nothing behind in the kitchen. He gave it his all and his work ethic and professionalism is fantastic, as a chef you couldn’t ask for more in the kitchen. In my opinion he is the next generation.”  

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Marcus Wareing, MasterChef’s seasoned judge Gregg Wallace and renowned chef Monica Galetti 

The gruelling Final Week saw Laurence up against exceptionally tough competition in fellow finalists Dean Banks, 30, and Oli Martin, 30 and Matthew Ryle. Laurence fought to prove his passion, grit, imagination and technical ability beyond that of his competitors throughout increasingly demanding tasks, which pushed all their culinary skills to their upmost limits.

The ultimate, final task was to create an exceptional three-course meal for judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace in three hours. Laurence, who pushed himself to the max with his winning menu, which he said reflected “the most accurate representation of the food he wants to be cooking”, started with a Hand-dived scallop, marinated cherry tomatoes (inspired by his time with Anne Sophie Pic), roast tomato dashi, strawberries and coriander oil seasoned with sansho pepper. His main was Loin and belly of suckling pig, kimchi glaze, braised fermented hispi cabbage hearts, Nashi pear puree and sliced pears. Dessert was Aerated mint white chocolate, lemongrass and coconut ice cream, passion fruit ripple and caramelised white chocolate crumb.

On Laurence's main course Marcus said: “Every now and again in a competition we all eat a dish that we will never forget. That is absolutely outstanding.”

Please note that applications for MasterChef: The Professionals, 2019 are now open:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th December 2018

Laurence Henry from Restaurant Sat Bains wins MasterChef: The Professionals 2018