Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Wondering how to apply for MasterChef: The Professionals? Well, the show is coming back to screens in November, and it is currently recruiting this year’s batch of competitors.
Yep, if you’re a trained chef then now is the time to flex your skills and show Marcus Wareing, Gregg Wallace and returning judge, Monica Galetti, what you’re made of.
Go on, you know you wanna.
How to apply for MasterChef: The Professionals
MasterChef: The Professionals is currently looking for its next batch of chefs, and it’s really easy to apply.
All you have to do is follow this link and answer a series of questions about where you live and work, as well as the type of food you cook and what menus you offer.
Other questions include whether you have any accolades or awards, how big your brigade is and what your role is.
After that, you’ll be asked to go into a little bit more detail about what inspired you to become a chef and what your favourite thing about your career is.
Basically, it’s your opportunity to give the BBC a flavour of who you are, the food you cook and why you deserve to be one of the pros on their roster, so sell yourself and add as much colour as possible!
Who is eligible to apply for MasterChef: The Professionals?
The clue is in the name, obvs, but to go into a bit more detail, those applying for MasterChef: The Professionals need to have at least two years of experience working as a chef in a professional kitchen.
Alternatively, they need to show a selection of specific professional cooking certificates (you can find more details on the form itself).
Applicants also have to be 20 years old or over, have a legal right to live and work in the UK and be available for filming in London between April and July, for a period of roughly 25 days.
The only other condition is that you don’t have any connections at the BBC or Shine TV (the production company) – that means no members of your household or family members currently work for those brands, for impartiality reasons.
How to make your MasterChef: The Professionals application stand out
In the past, former contestants have spilled on how they ensured their applications stood out, and there’s one tip that particularly rang true.
“If you’re going to apply, keep it simple,” said Steven Lickley, a 2017 finalist. “Be yourself and have a laugh with it.”
Louisa Ellis, who appeared on the show during the same season, agreed it’s all about not overthinking and going for it.
“My advice for someone who’s thinking of applying to the show is don’t think twice about it. Just apply for it,” she added.
What happens after you send off your application for MasterChef: The Professionals?
We can use the accounts of previous chefs to learn about what happens once you’ve sent your application off for MasterChef: The Professionals.
The application process for MasterChef: The Professionals is much like MasterChef, so Sandy Tang, of the main show’s 2020 season, can offer some insight.
“The application process for MasterChef starts with an online application form, followed by a phone interview. If they like you, they invite you to a face-to-face interview where you bring a dish to impress the crew,” she tells Delish.
“If they like your dish, that’s when you get invited to the MasterChef kitchen.”
Whilst she didn’t make the main show, Angela, who runs food blog The Messy Cook, also speaks online about having to share her food during the audition process, whilst being asked questions by a panel from the network.
“There were cameras, lights, and just 2 interviewers present – one asking the questions, and one filming,” she explains.
“They were both really friendly. I set up my dish, whilst the questioning commenced. The questions were similar to those on my telephone interview, as well as more specific questions on the MasterChef show itself.”
This chef explained that they were told they’d only hear back if they were successful, which is something to bear in mind.
What is the prize for winning MasterChef: The Professionals?
MasterChef: The Professionals differs quite dramatically from many reality TV heavyweights. Unlike many other popular British shows, the prize fund is essentially non-existent.
Instead, the main reward for emerging victorious comes afterwards, with winners achieving recognition for both themselves and their restaurants.
Many competitors receive offers from top British restaurants after appearing on the show. An example of this is the winner of the very first MasterChef: The Professionals series, Derek Johnstone.
After competing on the show, then-judge Michel Roux Jr. offered Johnstone a role at Le Gavroche. He then proceeded to spend six years working across the Roux family business, before opening his own restaurant.
Similarly, winner of series 2, Steve Groves, was also rewarded with a job offer from the Roux family, and was named 2020 National Chef of The Year.
Aside from potential job offers, MasterChef: The Professionals winners also receive a natty trophy for their trouble. You might not become an overnight millionaire, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
Do MasterChef: The Professionals contestants get paid?
Not only is there not a prize fund, but MasterChef: The Professionals contestants don’t get paid for being on the show, either.
It can be quite a costly undertaking entering the competition as if chefs want to try out their dishes ahead of time, they (or their restaurants) have to fork out for the ingredients themselves, too.
We don’t know about you, but if we were cooking some of the jazzy stuff they were, we’d probably want to give it one or two test drives before showing it to the judges…
Of course, when the chefs filming MasterChef: The Professionals all the food they cook is paid for.
How long does MasterChef: The Professionals take to film?
MasterChef: The Professionals takes place over six weeks, but you won’t be needed every day.
The application suggests chefs will be called upon for around 25 days in total between April and July, but this is subject to change.
When recounting her time on MasterChef, Sandy Tang says the show as filmed as she also worked her full-time job, which is quite a mission.
“I was working as a full-time network consultant during filming,” she explains. The filming schedule varied at different stages of the competition, but it got more frequent as it was approaching the final, which was tough.”
As for the professional series? It’ll all depend how easy it is to slip away from the kitchen.