When Thomasina Miers won the inaugural MasterChef crown in 2005, few could have predicted the stellar cooking career that was to come.
Since winning the show, Miers has gone on to found one of the country's most successful highstreet food franchises, as well as release several best-selling cookbooks. Small wonder that many consider her to be MasterChef UK's most successful ever contestant.
As she returns to pass judgement on yet another series of would-be winners, we take a look back at Miers' career to date. For fans of the series new and old, here's everything you need to know about Thomasina Miers.
How much is Thomasina Miers worth?
Although it's difficult to say with any certainty, multiple sources suggest that Thomasina Miers net worth is probably around the £5 million mark.
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The bulk of her fortune comes from her involvement in the extremely successful Wahaca restaurant group. According to a 2016 article in the Sun, this nets her around £1 million per year.
Miers has also enjoyed a relatively successful career on TV, hosting shows such as Wild Gourmets and A Cook's Tour of Spain. These TV appearances have helped contribute to her personal fortune.
Does Thomasina Miers still own Wahaca?
Although she set up Wahaca alongside her business partner Mark Selby, Thomasina Miers is no longer the majority shareholder.
In 2020, Nandos' billionaire owner Dick Enthoven bought a £4 million majority stake in the business. According to a report by Big Hospitality, this arrangement was part of a "rescue plan" to save Wahaca from administration.
This new investment may mean radical change for the Wahaca group and Miers personal involvement.
However, for the time being, Miers continues to be listed as a director for the business, confirming her continuing association.
Did any Wahaca restaurants close during lockdown?
Many of the Wahaca group's current troubles stem from issues caused by lockdown.
During the course of the pandemic, Wahaca has closed several of its branches. Among the restaurants to close were locations in Kent, Bristol, London, Manchester and Liverpool.
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In an email to staff, the restaurant said that it would only reopen restaurants if it could guarantee they could make money. As they explained, this decision was made in order “to avoid putting the entire business and every job at risk”.
Despite these difficulties, however, Wahaca continues to be a successful brand. For instance, the group recently launched a range of at-home meal kits which were a huge hit with customers.
Fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that, once things get back to normal, the restaurants can thrive once again.
Where can I find Thomasina Miers recipes?
Thomasina Miers has contributed recipes to several popular publications over the years.
As well as pieces for The Guardian and BBC Food, Miers also has a dedicated recipe section on her personal website. Dishes include treats like spinach pastilla pie and brown pasta with broad beans – a far cry from Wahaca's Mexican fare.
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In addition to free recipes online, Miers has also published several popular cookbooks. Four out of her six published title to date have focused on Mexican cooking, including two books featuring recipes from Wahaca.
However, Miers has also branched out into more generic territory, especially with her most recent release, Home Cook.
Who is Thomasina Miers married to?
Miers, who went to school at St Paul's Girls' independent, is married to investment banker Mark Williams.
Williams is a fund manager who specialises in the Asian market. He currently works for the Liontrust financial group.
Miers and Williams have three daughters together; Ottilie, Tatiana and Isadora.
The couple live together in West London.
What else has Thomasina Miers done since winning MasterChef?
As well as founding one of the UK's most successful restaurant groups of the past decade, Miers career has included several notable highlights.
In addition to her cookbooks and regular TV and festival appearances, she has also won an OBE for services to food.
Miers received the award at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2019. During the ceremony, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, presented her with the honour.