For all you cooking programme fanatics out there (including us!), the biggest few months of the culinary tv show calendar have arrived, with a brand new series of MasterChef set to kick off.
We don't know about you but we feel like we're caught in a constant cycle of MasterChef competitions, and we're not complaining at all. Just as we're starting to miss MasterChef: The Professionals being on our TVs and it's getting to the point where we can't even remember who won last year's series of Celebrity MasterChef, it's time for the new series of regular MasterChef. The main difference, of course, between this series of MasterChef compared to MasterChef: The Professionals, is that all 60 of the contestants are amateurs, meaning that there are likely to be a few more nightmares in the MasterChef kitchen. In fact, there aren’t many things we enjoy more than watching stressed amateur chefs running around a warm kitchen, dropping things all over the place, while discussing what we would have done differently if we were given the same invention test.
MasterChef has had its fair share of success stories in the past, proving that just because these chefs are amateurs doesn’t mean they can’t go on to achieve some pretty exciting things. Since winning the first series of Masterchef in 2005, Thomasina Miers has become somewhat of a star, going on to write numerous books as well as setting up popular Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca. 2011 Champion Tim Anderson went on to work in the kitchens of both The Fat Duck and La Gavroche before setting up his Japanese soul food restaurant Nanban which has recently launched its second outlet in the highly fashionable Seven Dials market.
We'll be keeping this page regularly updated as the series goes on, so check back for the latest up-to-date information on MasterChef 2021.
When is MasterChef 2021 on? When is the final?
The new series of MasterChef began on BBC One on Monday 1st March and will air for six weeks, with three episodes shown a week. We expect the final will be on Friday 9 April. The dates and start time of each week's episodes vary, but every week three episodes will air at some point between Monday and Friday 7.30-9.30pm.
How many episodes of MasterChef are there?
Based on last year's series we imagine there will be 18 episodes over the six week period.
Who are the MasterChef judges?
Unsurprisingly, our favourite duo of Greg Wallace and John Torode are back for another series of Masterchef, and will be providing their esteemed opinions of the amateur chefs' dishes. They’ve been with us ever since the reboot of the show began in 2005 so it wouldn’t really be MasterChef without them.
Who are the MasterChef 2021 contestants?
40 contestants took part in the heats of this year's competition. These are the contestants who've progresses to the semi final so far:
Who won last year's series of MasterChef?
Last year’s winner was 32-year-old Londoner, Thomas Frake, who triumphed in a final against Sandy Tang and David Rickett to become the show's 16th winner.
What are the MasterChef 2021 challenges?
The heats in this year's series begin with five chefs cooking a signature dish to impress the judges. The judge's two favourite chefs are given MasterChef aprons, while the remaining three chefs must cook another dish using their chosen favourite ingredient. The two best chefs are also awarded a MasterChef apron. In the final stage of the heats, the remaining four contestants have to cook a two-course meal for two former MasterChef contestants, with the two or three best chefs progressing to the quarter finals.
The quarterfinals see the winner from both of that week's heats cook against each other, following a brief given by a famous food critic, with only the best chefs progressing to the semi finals. Week one saw Grace Dent asking for a twist on a classic dessert, in week two William Sitwell wanted a dish that the reminded the contestants of a fantastic holiday, in week three Jay Rayner asked for a dish with roasted stone fruit at its heart and then finally in week four Grace Dent returned looking for dishes inspire by global street food.
What are this year's Masterchef restaurants?
As with previous years, the contestants are set to visit several of the best restaurants in the
UK during the ‘real kitchen’ challenges as well as the finalists visiting various international culinary hot
spots. Restaurants featured on the last series of MasterChef included Da Terra in London, which was recently awarded a second Michelin star.
Fancy your own chances on Masterchef? Applications may have closed for this series but they will soon open for next year's series. Here's everything you need to know about applying.