Laurence Henry talks to The Staff Canteen about winning MasterChef: The Professionals 2018

The Staff Canteen

Laurence Henry is the MasterChef: The Professionals champion for 2018. The 26-year-old spoke to The Staff Canteen Editor, Cara Houchen, about how it felt to win, the support he received from his mentors Sat Bains and John Freeman and his name trending on twitter!

It's the same every year, it gets to November and MasterChef: The Professionals drops on to BBC2 and The Staff Canteen team spend the next two months trying to persuade chefs to tell us who has won - they never break!

laurence masterchef
credit @satbains1

It's no surprise the pure relief the winning chef feels when they can finally talk about being the champion and as Laurence, sous chef at Restaurant Sat Bains, says 'it's a weight off' their shoulders.

So, how does it feel to win after months of pressure, filming and constant critique?

"I'm exhausted," laughed Laurence. "It's amazing - I was shell-shocked when they said my name and still hasn't really sunk in. It took a while before I could talk after they announced it! But it's absolutely fantastic and there is no better feeling in the world." 

After the final show was aired social media exploded and Sat was one of the chefs who congratulated Laurence on Instagram, he wrote: "It’s official. The boy done good!@masterchefuk. My timeline has blown up. Can’t wait to get home and watch @lozhenry1 smash it. Were all still working including Big Fruity so it’s gonna be a long night, were all so proud of him. #lovenotts #restaurantsatbains Well done Lozza. Home grown talent! Oh and he’s trending at No 1."

Laurence says he didn't even know what trending was until last night and he's happy he pushed himself to do 'the biggest cooking programme on tv'.

"Everyone knows what it is and they all talk about it - I wanted to see what level I was at and do my family proud." 

He added: "Sat and John were supportive throughout the entire experience but I didn't really ask them for tips on my dishes because I wanted it to be my own creations, but I did take some inspiration from them which you can definitely see in some of my dishes. 

"When Sat found out I won he said, 'course you f***ing did!"

Laurence took on Oli Martin, Matt Ryle and Dean Banks in the final week and he says he's 'made friends for life'.

"We talk every day and there are no hard feelings or anything - we are all winners in that respect."

As the winner Laurence has been in the competition long enough to get used to cooking on camera but on day one he says it was terrifying and the invention tests were equally nerve-racking.

"Walking through the doors the first time is horrendous - you can't be prepared for that."

laurence masterchef 1
credit @lozhenry

He added: "The skills test is quite daunting but when you are put on the spot with all of these fantastic ingredients it's quite exciting not knowing what is going to happen and developing your dish as you go along."

As a MasterChef: The Professionals champion Laurence can expect a lot of doors to open although he is keen to stay where he is as he 'still has a lot to learn'.

"It's never going to look bad on your CV is it? It's an amazing accolade to have but I've not really thought about my future other than my end goal of having my own restaurant. I'll just wait and see but I don't see myself going anywhere any time soon."

After a morning enjoying his celebrity status it was back to reality for Laurence who was on his way to work for lunch service, but he did say he would recommend the competition to other chefs and he was glad he took part.

He said: "It's a great opportunity regardless of how far you get. My only advice would be make sure you are ready for it, to get the best out of it you should be at a stage in your career where you feel you can get far.” 


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st December 2018

Laurence Henry talks to The Staff Canteen about winning MasterChef: The Professionals 2018