MasterChef: The Professionals 2015 starts November 10

The Staff Canteen

MasterChef: The Professionals 2015, the enormously popular, BAFTA Award winning competition for professional chefs returns to BBC Two this autumn for its eighth series.

Across the seven-week run the professional chefs are once again tested, challenged and pushed to the edge of their gastronomic limits, in the hunt for the next culinary superstar.

Marcus WareingTwo Michelin-starred British chef Marcus Wareing and formidable perfectionist chef, Monica Galetti, team up again with MasterChef maestro Gregg Wallace as judges of the country’s most high end cooking competition.

Together they search for the chef who has the skills, commitment, palate and style to push them to the top of their demanding industry. Monica Galetti said: “I’m expecting all these chefs to come in here and put up a good fight. They’re here because they want that title.”

Marcus Wareing added: “I’m really excited and looking forward to this amazing journey. I want to see the chefs shine, I want to see them push themselves to new limits.”

Forty-eight chefs from kitchens all over Britain will compete this year for the prestigious crown. The series starts with the heat stages, running over the first four weeks.

Split over three nights each week, twelve chefs face two daunting tests each evening to determine which six will progress to the third night’s quarter final, and who must be swiftly sent home.

The first round of heats kick off with the professionals facing a Skills Test from either Monica or Marcus with the clock set at 15 minutes for them to deliver each plate. Following this initial test the chefs are challenged to deliver a Signature Dish within 75 minutes, to meet the exacting standards of the judges.

For those contestants who overcome the first hurdle and become a quarter finalist, the heat is turned up again with two further challenges, where they must prove themselves worthy of progressing in the competition. These challenges are the notoriously difficult Invention Test and, surviving that, they face the country’s most discerning food critics. Week five brings Knockout Week (new to this series), and the pressure intensifies.

The twelve Jamie - MasterChef The Professionals -1163qualifying chefs come together for the first time to cook for Monica, Marcus and Gregg in an Invention Test to truly test their nerves. Selecting ingredients from both sweet and savoury produce, their stripped back skills are under a microscope without the ability to rely on mod cons such as water baths, vac packs and thermomixers. For the strongest eight it’s automatic graduation to the next stage, whilst the bottom four will battle it out in a cook -off to take the last two places.

Ten chefs continuing their journey will next be divided into two teams of five. Working together they’ll take on outside team challenges where they’ll seek to impress esteemed diners with their fine dining menus. One team will be making for Lords Cricket Ground for a VIP guest event, whilst the other team will work at a special event for the Law Society. Ultimately it’s every chef for themselves as they deliver their showstopper dishes in the hope of winning a place in the semi-finals.

>>> Read more about MasterChef: The Professionals 2015 here

Semi-final Week begins with the remaining contenders and ends with just the very best securing a place in the Final Week. The chefs are split up and sent out to cook with and learn from the best, brightest and most inspirational luminaries in the industry today. Some journey to Devon, to the restaurant of former MasterChef: The Professionals winner Anton Piotrowski, who has gone on to win his own Michelin star at celebrated Treby Arms.

The KitchinOthers travel to Edinburgh under the tutelage of Tom Kitchin at his renowned one star restaurant The Kitchin, and to Lancashire to serve under the inspiring Executive Head Chef Lisa Allen. They then return to the studio to cook off against each other for a place in Final Week. Challenged with preparing their own two course menu, Monica and Marcus will then decide which chefs must be sent home.

To kick off Final Week, the remaining chefs come together in the MasterChef kitchen - ahead of them is the opportunity to cook at The Chef's Table in the City of London, now one of the most significant and impressive culinary events in Britain today. To get there they must first conquer the infamous scraps and trimmings Invention Test.

If they want to cook for their idols they must prove to Marcus, Monica and Gregg that they can create high end food from anything. Only the strongest go on to cook their own food for a dining room full of the greatest chefs in the country - chefs who hold over 30 Michelin stars between them. Each finalist is in charge of a course, cooking their own dish at this illustrious event.

Monica and Marcus oversee service in the kitchen whilst seasoned diner Gregg Wallace joins the diners upstairs. The remaining chefs must now earn their right to travel to one of the most exciting restaurants in the world by impressing the judges in one final Invention Test. This time Monica, Marcus and Gregg have set them the non-meat, fish or poultry challenge - and only the strongest three chefs will continue in the competition.

For the finalists it's the experience of a lifetime next as they travel to Alba in Italy to cook in the three Michelin starred Piazza Duomo under Head Chef Enrico Crippa. Within seven years of opening in 2005 head chef Enrico Crippa and his team had achieved three Michelin stars and in 2015 it is steadily climbing up the list of the restaurants regarded as the best in the world. He is only 44 years old.

This is their chance to cook at one of the world’s most cutting edge and up and coming restaurants. Spending two days with inspiring Enrico, they’ll be treated to a masterclass before they must create a dish for the three-starred chef. The following day they’ll face the intimidating task of taking charge of a service, cooking Ernico's three star dishes for specially selected guests and the three MasterChef Judges.

Lastly, it’s back to the MasterChef Kitchen for one final cook-off to decide who will be this year’s champion. The chefs must simply cook the best three courses of their lives for one final judgement from Marcus, Monica and Gregg.

>>> Read more about Masterchef: The Professionals 2015 here

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd November 2015

MasterChef: The Professionals 2015 starts November 10