Alex Webb has won MasterChef The Professionals 2020, impressing the judges with his fun and imaginative cookery over the past six weeks of the contest.
Every year the MasterChef The Professionals competition seems to get tougher and tougher, with the talent improving each and every time. Alex faced various tests to bag a spot in finals week to then eventually secure the winning title. In the intial stages he was faced with the signature skills tests, while critics' judgement, chefs tables and signature rounds all waited for him in a jam-packed compeition full of twists and turns.
After six gruelling weeks the run of cookery tests culminated in a three hour task, after which Alex finally lifted the coveted trophy to be crowned this year's champion of MasterChef: The Professionals.
The final test allows each of the finalists three hours to come up with just three couses of food – a menu which must include a starter, main and dessert to impress the judges with. Each judge is served a complete menu so each contestant must plate nine plates in three hours all while being filmed in the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen.
Judge Marcus described Alex and his modern cookery as 'the future' of theh industry. Upon winning Alex seemed overcome with emotion, paying homage to his late grandfather who he said always tried to persuade him to compete on the show. "My legs are like jelly, I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say really," said the young chef, before lifting the trophy.
Who were the MasterChef The Professionals finalists?
Classically trained, twenty-five-year-old Alex cooked beyond his years throughout the competition and – as judge Marcus expressed – had (and has) a ‘thirst for knowledge’. Each and every one of Alex’s plates had notes of theatre about them which balanced both style and substance for food that both looks and tasted beautiful. Having been a chef since he was 14, despite being the youngest finalists, Alex brought plenty of experience. Currently Alex runs Square 1 in Dunmow but has experience at big name restaurants like The Savoy.
Scallop ceviche with an artichoke and pickled pear tartare and a watercress oilMain:
Lightly cured pan seared trout and a mussel, caviar and cream sauce with crispy parsnips and a mini fish pie made from crispy potato skins filled with trout belly and musselsDessert:
Tempered chocolate dome filled with passionfruit and white chocolate parfait inspired by a passionfruit martini with a party popper of passionfruit powder and a prosecco
Nepalese-born Santosh is one of the most popular contestants in this year’s competition with plenty of fans expressing their love for the charming chef on social media. Having trained in India, he worked in five-star kitchens, often managing over ninety chefs at one time before moving to London to further his career. Now Santosh heads up The Cinnamon Collection in London which includes overseeing the kitchens of high-end Indian restaurants like The Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen. During the show Santosh produced plates of ‘magical food’ according to judge Marcus Wareing. His deft handling of spices helped his modern versions of Nepalese classics really sing, and the chef revealed that since being in the competition he’s realised that he has previously dismissed creating menus around the food of his home country, but that now he’s passionate about bringing Nepalese cuisine to the UK.
Starter: Three mini starters of crab chapatis, mushroom kebabs on deep fried plantain and lamb brains on poppadoms with pickled kohlrabi and grapes
Main: Slow cooked black spiced buffalo beef short ribs with potato masala cannelloni
Dessert: Cardamom and pistachio cake with a jaggary caramel and infused guava liquor with coconut ice cream and lemon balm
Bart Van Der Lee
Having started cheffing at 16, Bart said he soon realised he was 'pretty good’ and the rounf cook was soon working in Michelin starred kitchens. From there he began working on private yachts and currently works for a family in Chelsea as their private chef. From the beginning of the competitions Bart impressed with dish after dish described as knockouts by the three judges. Bart impressed with his encyclopaedic knowledge of cookery and with week after week of praise from the judges he revealed that he surprised himself with his ambition. As a father to two daughters Bart’s had a whole team cheering him on behind the scenes. As the competitions cool, calm and collections one, during the final Bart even found time to clean down his bench, prompting Monica to comment that she had never seen a chef under so much control in the final.
Seared scallops with crispy oysters and miso, a sea buckthorn vinaigrette and watermelon rind Main: Wagyu
sirloin with slow-cooked ox tail stuffed Roscoff onions and an onion and beef fat espuma Dessert:
White chocolate mousse with a porcini biscuit and porcini crumb
What do you win if you win MasterChef The Professionals?
Despite the accolade which comes with winning the title, the winner of MasterChef – whether that’s the celebrity version, the regular show or the Professionals contest – wins nothing except for the shield they’re given (and of course a whole lot of kudos).
Want to know more? Here's everything you need to know about judge Monica Galetti