Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
If, like us, you’ve got a Gregg Wallace and John Torode shaped hole in your heart then you might be wondering whether MasterChef 2023 is on the way.
The BBC series has been off screens for a year, which means we can’t be the only ones itching to see what the latest cohort of amateur chefs can bring to the table…
So, when does MasterChef 2023 start, who will present it and are applications still open? Here’s everything we know so far…
When does MasterChef UK 2023 start?
The BBC hasn’t announced an official MasterChef 2023 launch date yet, but we can expect the show to land on screens very soon.
To give you an idea, last year the series dropped on March 23rd, and the 2021 instalment launched on March 1st, meaning it’s very fair to assume that it will be landing this month or at least very close to it.
The series usually lasts seven weeks running throughout the spring.
Obviously, as soon as we have a solid date we will let you know!
Are applications for MaterChef 2023 still open?
If you’re looking to apply for MasterChef 2023 you’re too late, we’re afraid!
The BBC show opened for applications at the end of January, but has since shut them, meaning they’ve likely found this year’s cohort.
The good news is, that does mean we’re one step closer to getting the show back on screens.
Keep your eyes peeled at a similar time next year and if you fancy your chances and maybe you could be in with a chance of competing!
Where is MasterChef filmed?
MasterChef moved filming locations and is now filmed in Birmingham as of 2022.
The cookery competition upped ship and made its home at Digbeth Loc studios last year – a premises founded by Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight.
They’ve signed a six year deal so we can expect the 2023 season to have been filmed there, as well as MasterChef: The Professionals and the likes of Celebrity MasterChef.
Previously, MasterChef was filmed at 3 Mills Studios, in East London, before moving to London’s Newham in 2021 to accomodate social distancing requirements brought on by Covid-19.
As regular viewers will also know, later on in the series we often see contestants take to popular restaurants around the country to try their hands in a professional kitchen.
This was also put on hold due to the pandemic, with chefs visiting the contestants in the studio instead. However, as was the case last year, contestants are likely to go ahead with restaurant visits as normal in the upcoming season.
Last year’s filming excursions included Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in London’s Chelsea, and fancy Belgravia restaurant, Lanesborough Grill, situated in The Lanesborough Hotel.
Both of these locations give you an idea of the calibre of cooking expected from the candidates – only the best will do!
Who are the judges on MasterChef 2023?
MasterChef hasn’t changed its core judges since day one of its current iteration, with John Torode and Gregg Wallace fronting the series year after year.
Whilst there is no word from the BBC about who is judging the 2023 series, it would be a huge twist if the channel went against usual programming, and we’d have expected an announcement from them already. Still, we’ll naturally update you if there are any unexpected changes to the judging panel.
Torode and Wallace joined as the show BBC back in 2005 after it was revamped following a four year break.
Back in the old series, which ran from 1990 to 2001, Lloyd Grossman took the helm alongside a professional chef and a celebrity.
But now it’s hard to imagine a world without Torode and Wallace.
Here’s a little reminder of who they are:
Gregg Wallace is a former greengrocer originally from Peckham, London.
The über enthusiastic host has worked at the likes of Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market before starting up George Allan’s Greengrocers in 2989 – a hugely successful, multi-million pound company.
Wallace then made it into the media world, co-presenting BBC Radio 4’s Veg Talk alongside Charlie Hicks, and fronting BBC’s Saturday Kitchen back in 2002 and its OG host.
All roads led to MasterChef three years later, and the TV fave hasn’t looked back since. We’ve seen him on MasterChef, MasterChef: The Professionals and MasterChef, Celebrity ever since.
Plus, Wallace has fronted several other food shows in his time, including Harvest, Eat Well for Less and Inside the Factory.
Boasting around 40 years of experience in the food industry, John Torode is originally from Australia but moved to London in 1992.
After going to catering college aged 16, Torode went on to work in restaurants in Melbourne, Australia, before joining the Conran Group when he moved to London.
He worked his way up from Pont de La Tour to Sous Chef at Quaglino’s, and in 1995, he was declared Head Chef of Mezzo in Soho, which was one of the biggest restaurants in Europe when he got the gig.
It was then that Torode made it onto the telly, appearing on This Morning on ITV alongside Richard and Judy.
After opening his former restaurant Smiths of Smithfield in 2000 and a second eatery called Cafeteria not far from Notting Hill Gate a year later, Torode took the gig on MasterChef, where he has since remained.
He also presents Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef and has appeared on several other cooking shows, including John Torode’s Australia and John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen, with his wife, Lisa Faulkner.
Who will present MasterChef 2023?
Whilst Wallace and Torode are technically MasterChef judges, they act as presenters, too, introducing the challenges to contestants before they get cooking.
However, they aren’t the only ones. Actress India Fisher has been the voice behind the scenes on the show since it was first revived back in 2005.
If you’ve ever watched before, you’ll almost certainly recognise her calming voice introducing a whole manner of intricate dishes as the camera pans over them in slow motion.
As well as MasterChef, you might know India’s voice from BBC Radio 4 show, Elephants to Catch Eels and Ghosts of Albion. She’s also appeared in front of the camera on shows like Dead Ringers and Peep Show.
Who won MasterChef last year?
MasterChef 2022’s champion was Eddie Scott, a marine pilot from the Midlands.
Scott managed to beat 44 other amateur cooks to the top spot by cooking with classic French techniques, as well as with inspiration from India, where his grandparents hail from.
After being handed the trophy, Scott said: “My whole life feels like it has been building up to this moment. I can’t believe I’m standing here as MasterChef champion…wow.
“All of my family will be so pleased and proud. It’s been the most stressful but the most enjoyable experience. I think I’ve really discovered who I am as a cook. It’s the best feeling ever.”
John Torode, said: “Eddie is nothing short of a culinary powerhouse. His love of classic French food blended with the spices of India, has made us really stand up and take notice. He’s daring, he’s adventurous, he doesn’t play it safe.”
Meanwhile, Gregg Wallace, added: “I think we’ve just seen the birth of a future great chef. Eddie impressed from the moment he set foot in this kitchen. He’s hardly put a foot wrong throughout the competition.”
In 2021, Tom Rhodes took the crown, and in 2020, Thomas Frake was the winner.
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What is the prize for winning MasterChef?
There’s no wad of cash or gift for the winner of MasterChef, instead they get to take home a trophy, and an accolade they can boast about forever.
This might sound a big naff, but as we mentioned above, the platform the BBC offers to MasterChef contestants has more than done its job over the years.
Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers (who we’ve interviewed, here) is a former winner and so is Kenny Tutt, who now owns an acclaimed restaurant and cookery school in West Sussex.
In fact, there are very few MasterChef winners who haven’t gone on to work in the food industry, whether that’s running a restaurant, writing cookbooks or teaching others their art.
If that’s not a worthy prize for an amateur chef, we don’t know what is.