Everything you need to know about Masterchef: The Professionals 2020

The  Staff Canteen

Everything you need to know about Masterchef: The Professionals 2020 

When does MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 start?

This year's competition will start on Tuesday November 10th at 9pm

Where can I watch MasterChef: The Professionals 2020? 

The series will be airing on BBC One for the first time, thanks to record-beating ratings for three consecutive years on BBC Two. As always, the episodes will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

32 chefs from across the country will demonstrate their outstanding skills, commitment and creativity to convince the judges they are worthy of the highly esteemed title: to become Champion of MasterChef: The Professionals 2020.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said: “MasterChef is one of the channel’s biggest brands and following the impact of Covid on the production of original programming it feels like the time is right to move ‘The Professionals’ to BBC One and find an even wider audience.”

Commissioning Editor for the BBC, Carla-Maria Lawson, added: “MasterChef: The Professionals has uncovered and nurtured some incredible culinary talent over the years whilst also reflecting changes in the way we eat out.

"It’s never been a more challenging time for these talented professionals and it’s exciting that they’ll be able to showcase their skills to the BBC One audience.”

Shine TV’s Executive Producer for MasterChef, David Ambler, commented: “This year’s MasterChef: The Professionals is a fantastic competition.

"Although it has been filmed in very difficult times for the hospitality industry, the series has uncovered some really exciting culinary talent which the MasterChef judges are delighted to share with the BBC One audience.”

The judges

Judges Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing and award-winning chef and restaurateur Monica Galetti, joined by Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace, will, for the 13th time, preside over the UK’s most anticipated cooking competition, airing over the course of six weeks.

They are determined to uncover the hottest new talent - contestants will need to go all out to become worthy of the prestigious Professional Masterchef title.

What to expect on This year's Masterchef: the Professionals? 

Over six intense weeks, the determined professionals will push themselves through challenge after challenge, to inch closer to gastronomic glory. Pitting themselves against peers from across the industry at every level; the contestants hail from pubs and pop-ups, to Michelin-starred kitchens and catering in the armed forces.

Launching the thirteenth series are the heats. Over three weeks, 12 chefs compete in the first two programmes each week, with the aim of making the quarter final in the third programme at the end of the week.

The inaugural challenge for the six chefs in each heat is the infamous and often-dreaded skills test. Three of the chefs are set theirs by Monica and three by Marcus. The judges demonstrate their dish, from pan-fried calves liver with a bordelaise sauce to braised artichoke with a saffron aquafaba mayonnaise, for the viewers at home, then task the professionals with preparing the recipe.

This nail-biting challenge piles on the pressure, as the judges witness them either showcase their skills or stagger at the first hurdle. Following this revealing round, the contestants must produce a signature dish within an hour and 15 minutes. This is an opportunity to tip the scales back in their favour for any shortcomings in the skills test, and impress the judges with their own cooking - enough to make it to the next round: the quarter final. Three chefs from each heat show go through.

Facing two more demanding challenges are the six chefs up to quarter final standard. The first is an invention test, with a twist. Marcus and Monica select an ingredient on which the professionals must base their dish. The chefs have a range of ingredients to work with, but must take the judges’ favoured item, such as onions, coffee, pumpkin or rice, and create a standout dish that celebrates and elevates the chosen ingredient to MasterChef standard. The four best performers then face an intimidating round cooking for the UK’s most discerning food critics.

Knockout Week is the first time the final 12 professionals are in the MasterChef kitchen together, competing in even tougher and more revealing culinary challenges to stay in the running. The invention test kicking off this fourth week demands the chefs step up a level to produce one sweet or savoury dish that boasts of their raw cooking talents and ability to work under pressure.

Choosing their ingredients and working without advanced cooking equipment such as water baths or machinery, they must produce that knock-out dish to be one of the eight strongest contestants, automatically put through to the next stage. The other four have to rally their spirits to win one of two remaining places in a cook-off using only the ingredients left in the larder.

Semi-final week launches with eight chefs battling it out in two cook-offs. The judges identify the two standout dishes, putting those chefs straight through to the next stage. Winning one of the remaining four places rides on an invention test. Sweet or savoury; it will have to be spectacular to secure a place in the next round.

The six remaining chefs are split into two groups. The professionals get an incredible opportunity to cook with and learn from two leaders of the culinary industry. 

The last obstacle between the six semi-finalists and a place in the finals, is the preparation of a two-course menu. Inspired by their time working in such prestigious restaurants and learning from the best, the chefs must excel using their most polished techniques, taste and creativity to compel Monica, Gregg and Marcus to make them a MasterChef: The Professionals finalist.

The four exceptional chefs through to the finals must now take on an almighty challenge with the most high-stakes service of their careers - the chef's table - one of the country’s most esteemed and prestigious culinary events.

Presiding over the service are Monica and Marcus, whilst Gregg Wallace puts his experienced palate to use amongst the diners.

Who won MasterChef: The Professionals 2019?

Then head chef of Birmingham’s The Wilderness restaurantStu Deeley won MasterChef: The Professionals 2019. The chef has since left the restaurant and is due to open his own Birmingham site, pandemic allowing. 

We spoke to Stu in the run-up to the final airing last year. Listen to our conversation with him here.


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd December 2020

Everything you need to know about Masterchef: The Professionals 2020