MasterChef: The Professionals 2023 has a winner!
Tom Hamblet, 24, was named MasterChef: The Professionals Champion in the final on Friday evening.
Tom takes his position in MasterChef history among other remarkable winners, from 2008 winner Derek Johnstone to last year’s victor Nikita Pathakji, as the 17th chef to win the prized trophy.
Tom, who hails from a cheffing family, challenged 31 other professionals to complete seven weeks of progressively difficult culinary challenges.
Along the way, he served several exceptional dishes, stunning not just the judges but also restaurant reviewers and some of the country’s top chefs.
In the quarter-final, former I’m A Celebrity campmate and food critic Grace Dent said: ‘That is the best dessert I’ve had on MasterChef in all the years I’ve been here.’
Michelin-starred Jun Tanaka also stated that his cuisine was’absolutely on target’ during the last week of the Chef’s Table competition.
Tom was at a loss for words in response to his victory.
‘I’m lost for words. It’s been such a good experience. I’ve done it!’, he exclaimed with glee.
‘The trophy’s here. I’m holding it! I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m just going to enjoy the moment.’
After calling his parents to give tell them the news, who are also both chefs at the same hotel as Tom, he said: ‘It’s really nice to hear how proud they are. It’s a big moment for me and them.’
Marcus Wareing commented: ‘From the minute that young chef stepped into this kitchen he’s been consistent and he’s delivered at every single level.
‘Tom’s food today was technical, it was beautiful and most importantly, it was delicious.’
Monica Galetti praised: ‘I find now he’s bringing his little modern twists, his personality, his cheekiness into his cooking. His food has been cracking throughout, and he’s still so young.’
Gregg Wallace added that the flavours of Tom’s dishes especially ‘enter the world of exquisite.’
‘His food is beautiful and it’s absolutely banging delicious,’ the TV star praised, hailing Tom ‘a talent.’
‘I think today, we watched a very young chef come of age. Someone who’s always had the technical ability, but today was brave enough to put his own stamp on the classical.’
In an intense Final Week, Tom was up against ambitious and talented chefs: Charlie Walters (22 at the time of filming, now 23), who left on Wednesday; Kasae Fraser (29); and Tommy Thorn (27) who both also competed in tonight’s grand final.
The first task of the week saw them cooking a four-course dinner at the intimidating Chef’s Table, which was hosted at London’s King’s Cross by the famed Midland Grand Dining Room.
The guests featured three previous MasterChef: The Professionals contestants who have gone on to have their own stars, as well as 24 culinary giants with 22 Michelin stars between them.
The final three went on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Copenhagen, Denmark, to the boundary-pushing two Michelin-starred Alchemist, where Head Chef Rasmus Munk guided them into an immersive, breath-taking world where science, art, and cuisine merge.
The chefs were under extreme strain since they had just hours to develop exceptionally unique dishes as part of an epic 50-course tasting menu and perform on a whole new level.
In tonight’s grand finale, the three chefs threw all they had into delivering the judges the three most stunning dinners of their life.
Over the course of three hours, they had to create an appetiser, a main course, and a dessert while exceeding all of the culinary talent, technique, and knowledge they have displayed so far and impressing enough to be the final chef remaining.
Tom’s winning cuisine began with a poached native lobster tail with blanched red and yellow cherry tomatoes, packed with lobster claw flesh in lobster and chilli oil, and topped with a lemon verbena gel, courgette balls, and an Américaine cream lobster and tomato sauce.
Gregg told Tom: ‘This is a great, light dish that really packs a flavour punch.’
The main course featured a seared beef fillet on a bed of pan-fried oyster mushrooms, with braised beef cheek wrapped in brick pastry and topped with a poached oyster, a lovage emulsion, salsify, beef and red wine sauce, and a beef and oyster tartare.
Marcus reacted with: ‘I’m finding it really difficult to find a problem with this. Everything on this plate is cooked beautifully and your attention to detail is exquisite.’
Tom finished with an olive oil sponge filled with an olive oil jam, topped with lemon curd, crème fraiche cream, fennel tips, and a fennel pollen tuille, and served with fennel seed ice cream.
Monica’s take on the dessert was: ‘It’s just a delightful way to finish your meal. I love it, love it, love it!’, while Marcus added: ‘Absolutely sublime. You’ve just hit the notes beautifully. It’s like a great piece of music. You get to the end of it and you want to play it again.’
As for life after MasterChef, Tom is still ‘working hard to deliver high standards’ at his restaurant.
‘I’d love to aim for my own Michelin-starred restaurant and maybe do more TV. I’m keen to take on projects that allow me to become a better chef and person so hopefully there are more exciting things coming!’
MasterChef: The Professionals is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Source My Celebrity Life.