Who are the Ready Steady Cook chefs? Anna Haugh, Akis Petretzikis, Romy Gill, Ellis Barrie and Jeremy Pang
Throughout the 90s and 00s, Ready Steady Cook was the prime time cooking show.
Anyone who didn't cherish Ainsely Harriot's boundless enthusiasm as the unfortunate chefs were confronted with the dregs of a discount supermarket aisle doesn't know what it is to truly love food. What a time to be alive.
The new revamp, helmed by former X-Factor-contestant-turned-TV-personality Rylan Clark-Neal, definitely has a different feel. However, the key ingredients of what makes Ready Steady Cook such great telly thankfully remain.
Who are the Ready Steady Cook chefs?
As the new series gets well and truly underway, we take a closer look at the five professional chefs vying for supremacy in the kitchen. It might be friendly, but the show is still a competition, after all.
After former star Mike Reid left the show ahead of the 2021 series, here's everything you need to know about the current crop of Ready Steady Cook chefs.
Born in Dublin, Haugh's distinguished career has seen her work in some of Europe's top kitchens. In addition to London’s Pied à Terre and Paris’ Hotel Lotti, Haugh was also the first head chef at Gordon Ramsay's London House restaurant.
Speaking to the BBC about her appointment to the Ready Steady Cook crew, Haugh said:
"It’s so surreal, I remember coming in from school and watching this programme. The idea that someone would say: 'Anna, in 20 years’ time you’re going to be a chef on Ready Steady Cook!' I wouldn’t have believed them."
As the first-ever Greek winner of MasterChef, Akis Petretzikis has some serious cooking pedigree.
Born in Thessaloniki, the talented 36-year-old has been a head chef at one of Michel Roux's restaurants, and has also hosted the Greek version of Ready Steady Cook. Clearly, he has a suitable CV.
READ MORE: Here's where every MasterChef winner is now
However, despite his experience, Petretzikis has admitted that the Ready Steady Cook format doesn't make things easy. As he explained:
"The truth is that when you’re working with other chefs there is great competition and stress. But as soon as I met the other chefs, they were so friendly and (yet) competitive, but in a healthy and creative way.
"A kind of competition that didn’t go over the top and so everyone had a great time and enjoyed what we were doing. I built a unique friendship with the guys and we still keep in touch, almost daily!"
Given his expertise, fans can certainly look forward to some top-quality TV cooking.
A master of Indian cooking, Romy Gill is no stranger to the limelight. In 2016, the Gloucestershire-based chef was awarded an MBE for services to hospitality, capping off an incredible career to date.
A regular guest on shows such as Sunday Brunch, The One Show and Countryfile, she certainly has experience on TV. However, it's clear that her new role on Ready Steady Cook hasn't come without surprises. As she revealed in a statement:
"I did samosas in the 10 Minutes Challenge, that was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever made, and I made the pastry and the filling, and did the frying in ten minutes!
"...one (challenge) that really I think was very tough was when a contestant cut his finger and I was left cooking on my own but I was more worried about the contestant."
Even if you've been acknowledged by The Queen, it turns out that cooking on TV is still seriously difficult!
Stepping in to replace former star Mike Reid, Jeremy Pang is another cook who knows his way around a TV set.
Having made regular appearances on shows such as Sunday Brunch, Pang is definitely familiar with the stresses of cooking in front of a camera.
His reputation is such that he has won several awards for his cooking. In 2015, for instance, he won both Rising Young Star and Best Specialist Cookery School at the British Cookery School Awards.
He has also established the School of Wok, which offers award-winning courses in Asian cooking.
Having started out in a professional kitchen at the age of just 15, 31-year-old Ellis Barrie already has plenty of experience.
As the owner of one of Wales' top bistros, his cooking has won critical acclaim across the board. However, it was his passion for foraging and sustainable eating that really drew him to the new project.
As he explained in an interview with the BBC:
"You learn so much, you know in the day and age of sustainability. I think people need to be able to understand how they can do it at home because we put so many demands on people, but it’s like: 'Well okay, you tell me that I can’t use a plastic bottle or I can’t do ready meals, well what am I meant to do?'
"This is where Ready Steady Cook comes in."
It's clear from Barrie's experience on the show that Ready Steady Cook is no longer exclusively about entertainment.