Masterchef 2023 has finally come to an end, and Chariya Khattiyot has taken the crown as the champion of this year's cooking contest. Chariya, 40, was born in Chiangmai, Thailand, and moved to the UK nearly 20 years ago where she now lives in Farnborough with her fiancé, and is a master coffee roaster.
Chariya had to battle against 44 other amateur cooks before she could make it to the top spot, through various tasks set out by the judges each week.
For Chariya's winning menu she made a Thai lotus tuille for starters, with coconut jelly, fried king prawns, and a pomelo fruit salad, flavoured with honey, palm sugar and coconut. This was followed by a northern Thai khantoke sharing platter for mains made up of Wagyu sirloin steak in Hung Lay curry sauce; minced lamb in a spicy tomato and shrimp paste; jackfruit and scallop salad; sticky rice; and scallop crisp crackers. Then dessert saw the champion make her own take on strawberries and cream - which consisted of a strawberry jelly and vanilla cremeux ring, filled with macerated strawberries in strawberry liqueur, with pistachio sponge, strawberry shards and a strawberry and Thai basil sauce.
MasterChef finalists with judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
The winner reacted 'This is unbelievable. It means the world, the sun, the moon and everything to me. I don’t think anything can top this.' She continued to say, 'I’m so happy! This just proves that if you dream something and you work really hard and you never give up, you can get it. That’s what my grandad said to me – never give up. He would be so proud of me!'
When John Torode commented on her cooking, he said 'Chariya’s food has always been honest and from the heart. It’s always exciting, it’s always unusual and it’s always been beautiful and addictive. And not just punchy, exciting Thai flavours that we saw at the start, but also exceptional, innovative and exciting technique all the way through. A proper master.'
Gregg Wallace added 'Chariya is outstanding and one of the best MasterChef contestants I can remember. Chariya has delighted and amazed me in equal measure. Some of her creations are absolutely beautiful - almost with an artist’s touch. She is one of the most creative, skillful cooks I’ve seen on MasterChef for a long, long time.'
In the past, MasterChef winners have gone on to open their own restaurant and start a new career in the culinary world, so who knows what's next for Chariya.
Looking for more MasterChef news? Read about the return of one of MasterChef: The Professionals judges.