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Meet the MasterChef 2024 contestants

MasterChef Series 20 poster

MasterChef is back on BBC One with its impressive 20th series – meet the contestants taking part!

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Esteemed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace will be leading the quest over eight weeks to find the UK’s top amateur chef. Each episode promises a journey of culinary discovery, peppered with surprises and memorable moments.

Discover who hopes to be impressing John and Gregg on MasterChef 2024 below and tune in on BBC One weekly.

Details correct at time of filming

Brin

Brin
Brin. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

Brin, a 28-year-old Veterinary Surgeon from Bristol, has made his mark on MasterChef with his unique cooking style. Born in Ilford and raised in Chelmsford, Essex, Brin now resides in Bristol with his fiancée, Anna. His culinary approach balances bold flavours and classical techniques, drawing influence from his Tamil Sri Lankan heritage and his love for East Asian cuisine.

Brin’s journey into cooking began at the age of eight, and his passion for the craft was further fueled by his family’s tradition of watching MasterChef together. Entering the competition to test his culinary skills, Brin aims to turn his passion for cooking into a career, with dreams of writing cookbooks, hosting cookery shows, or opening a restaurant.

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Cirilo

Cirilo
Cirilo. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

Cirilo, a 49-year-old contestant from London, originally hails from Panama. He brings a rich blend of Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences to the MasterChef kitchen. Having lived in St Lucia before moving to the UK six years ago, Cirilo works at a large London hotel and resides in Wembley Park with his wife, Carla. His cooking style is a testament to his diverse background, incorporating Colombian, Mexican, Caribbean, Spanish, and some Italian cuisines.

Inspired by his family and the desire to share his culture, Cirilo’s earliest cooking memory is recreating his favourite Black Bean Stew in St Lucia. With a food dream of launching a line of quality Panamanian and Latino frozen foods, Cirilo aims to make delicious, convenient meals accessible to busy individuals.

 

Fateha

Fateha
Fateha. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

Fateha, a 41-year-old IT teacher from Birmingham, is known for her love of Bengali cuisine and her talent for experimenting with different cultural dishes. Born and raised in Birmingham, where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters, Fateha draws inspiration from her late father, a chef who ran his own Indian restaurant.

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She cherishes memories of cooking with her father and aims to showcase Bengali dishes, differentiating them from the Indian cuisine her father cooked professionally. Fateha’s participation in MasterChef is a tribute to her father, and she dreams of teaching others to cook from scratch and publishing her own cookbook featuring British Bengali dishes.

 

Hope

Hope
Hope. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

Hope, a 31-year-old Digital Project Director from Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire, is passionate about modern European small plates, with a particular focus on bread-making, especially sourdough. Influenced by her global travels to 60 countries, Hope’s cooking style seeks to connect people through the universal language of food. Her earliest cooking memories involve helping her grandmother prepare Sunday roasts.

A devoted fan of MasterChef, Hope sees the competition as an opportunity to validate her culinary skills and to take a step towards integrating food more deeply into her professional life. She dreams of hosting supper clubs and sharing her passion for bread-making through workshops and social media.

 

Matt

Matt
Matt. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

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Matt, a 32-year-old butcher from Blackpool, brings a blend of traditional home cooking and modern influences to MasterChef. With a love for trying new recipes and a passion for flavourful and pretty food, Matt’s culinary journey began at the age of 15. His participation in MasterChef is driven by a desire to measure his cooking skills against those of other amateurs.

Matt’s food dream is to open a unique butcher’s shop-themed restaurant where customers can choose their cuts of meat and watch them being prepared, combining his love for butchery with his culinary passion.

 

Muir

Muir
Muir. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 1

Muir, a 53-year-old Children’s Mental Health Services Manager from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, originally from Scotland, showcases an eclectic cooking style on MasterChef. Inspired by chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi and intrigued by techniques like sous vide, Muir loves cooking for crowds and experimenting with flavours.

Her cooking journey started in her family kitchen, and her passion has grown through the years. Entering MasterChef to challenge herself, Muir dreams of running a supper club and eventually owning a restaurant that offers both high-quality food and training opportunities for those struggling to enter the workplace.

 

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Jerome

Jerome
Jerome. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

Jerome, a 33-year-old Musical Director from Walthamstow, London, impresses on MasterChef with his ability to create dishes that bring people together. Originally from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Jerome now lives with his partner, Amy, and their cat, Edgar. His cooking style, influenced by a variety of cultures, focuses on bold flavours and communal dining experiences.

Jerome’s journey into cooking began with simple dishes like hot buttered toast and pineapple upside down cake, inspired by his father’s culinary skills. Entering MasterChef to share his love for food and driven by his brother-in-law’s encouragement, Jerome dreams of continuing to cook for his loved ones, creating memorable dishes and moments.

 

Louise

Louise
Louise. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

Louise, at 43, has a deep connection with the British landscape, seasonality, and the farm-to-table ethos, inspired by her life on a small farm in Exmoor, West Somerset. Originally from Staffordshire, Louise’s cooking is a tribute to British farmers, focusing on locally grown produce and a waste-minimising philosophy. Influenced by chefs like Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and Adam Handling, her style is best described as “slightly fancy classic farmhouse.”

Following a significant personal challenge, Louise applied to MasterChef to embrace life’s opportunities, aiming to cook for people and possibly host supper clubs or publish her own cookbook that reflects her sustainable and ingredient-led approach.

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Olivia

Olivia
Olivia. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

Olivia, a vibrant 21-year-old from Redditch, Worcestershire, brings a colourful and experimental approach to the MasterChef kitchen. Having spent time in Eastern Poland and Grenada, Olivia’s cooking is influenced by her diverse experiences and a dairy-free requirement, drawing heavily on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Her family’s varied dietary preferences have shaped her cooking, offering vegan options and incorporating her mother’s baking skills into their dinner parties.

Olivia’s journey on MasterChef began as a fun challenge, supported by her parents’ encouragement. She dreams of owning a café or bakery in a sunny beach location, creating a communal space for people to enjoy fresh, seasonal dishes.

 

Peter

Peter
Peter. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

Peter, a 49-year-old IT consultant from Irvine, Scotland, takes a classical approach to cooking, inspired by Gordon Ramsay. Growing up in Ayrshire, Peter’s earliest memories involve making lasagne with his father, fostering a love for Italian dishes. Peter’s appreciation for MasterChef has grown over the years, viewing the show as a source of inspiration and a way to escape the daily grind.

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His decision to enter the competition was encouraged by friends and family, and while he doesn’t have a specific food dream, the opportunity to cook for or learn from Gordon Ramsay would be a dream come true.

 

Rana

Rana
Rana. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

Rana, a 42-year-old Project Manager from Woking, Surrey, and originally from Abu Dhabi, specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine with a willingness to explore a wide range of culinary styles. Her passion for cooking was reignited during her time in Canada, where she longed for her mother’s home-cooked meals.

Rana’s earliest kitchen memories involve learning to make bechamel sauce at the age of eight, under her mother’s watchful eye. Her dream of competing on MasterChef was motivated by a desire to challenge herself and showcase her culinary talents. Rana aspires to open a café that serves healthy, freshly made Middle Eastern fusion food in a welcoming atmosphere.

 

Sidney

Sidney
Sidney. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 2

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Sidney, a 25-year-old model and waiter from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and born in Paris, represents a fusion of cultures through his cooking, reflecting his French birth, UK upbringing, and Ivorian roots. His culinary journey began with childhood visits to Ivory Coast, where local markets sparked his interest in diverse flavours.

Sidney’s passion for cooking and challenge led him to enter MasterChef, aiming to test his skills and explore new culinary horizons. Inspired by a range of culinary idols, Sidney dreams of working in the restaurant industry, becoming a food presenter, or serving as a personal chef for athletes, combining his love for food and sports.

 

Charlie

Charlie
Charlie. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Charlie, a 54-year-old copywriter from Bath, brings his world-traveled experiences to MasterChef. Having lived in places like the Czech Republic and Japan, Charlie has developed a love for cooking large group meals, from seafood paella outdoors to a hearty beef rib ragu.

His passion for seafood and crafting zingy sauces blossomed during lockdown, making the most of wholesale seafood opportunities. Inspired by his father’s adventurous spirit in exploring London’s culinary diversity, Charlie entered MasterChef to fulfill a bet with his daughter, aiming to share his love of cooking and maybe even venture into supper clubs in his local area.

 

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Enya

Enya
Enya. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Enya, a 26-year-old mapping driver from Mold, North Wales, combines her perfectionist nature with a creative approach to cooking, inspired by family and past work experiences. With a knack for making do with available ingredients and a penchant for presentation, she credits her cooking style to her dad and sisters, as well as a restaurant where she once worked.

Enya’s love for cooking began with baking alongside her Aunty Lilian, and has evolved into a broader culinary skill set. Entering MasterChef on the encouragement of her family, Enya dreams of owning a bistro-style restaurant or a pie and mash truck, sharing her passion for pies and inventive fillings with a wider audience.

 

Lee

Lee
Lee. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Lee, a 30-year-old Automotive Engineer from Solihull, West Midlands, specializes in street food and finger-friendly dishes. Inspired by Asian cuisine and the home-cooked meals of his childhood, Lee’s self-taught cooking journey reflects his love for hands-on, communal eating experiences.

Watching MasterChef for over a decade has motivated him to explore new culinary techniques and styles. With the support of his wife, Jenny, Lee entered MasterChef to push his boundaries and share his culinary passion. Dreaming of reviewing food spots and sharing his recipes through an e-book, Lee hopes to inspire others with his love for cooking and trying new cuisines.

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Pete

Pete
Pete. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Pete, a 31-year-old lawyer from Blackheath, South East London, is deeply influenced by his Vietnamese grandmother’s cooking. Combining Asian flavours with modern European presentation, Pete credits his culinary finesse to his grandmother’s teachings.

His cooking journey began with making spring rolls for special family occasions, and watching MasterChef has encouraged him to elevate his cooking. Entering the competition to showcase his heritage and compete with top amateur chefs, Pete dreams of opening a restaurant or supper club that serves Vietnamese feasts, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of chefs like Luke Nguyen.

 

Saffron

Saffron
Saffron. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Saffron, a 34-year-old interior designer from the Scottish Borders, enjoys a versatile approach to cooking, from comfort food for her family to colourful, Ottolenghi-style dishes for friends. Her culinary memories are filled with flavorful revelations, such as her first taste of coriander with chicken satay in Singapore.

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Motivated by years of watching MasterChef, Saffron entered the competition seeking a new challenge and a chance to do something for herself. She dreams of hosting supper clubs, continuing to bring people together through her cooking.

 

Shreya

Shreya
Shreya. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 3

Shreya, a 26-year-old Cyber Security Consultant from Newham, London, brings the simplicity and warmth of homemade Indian food to MasterChef. Inspired by her mother’s cooking and her own creative experiments, Shreya’s cooking reflects a deep appreciation for her culinary heritage.

Her entry into the competition was driven by a lifelong dream to showcase the food she grew up with. Shreya envisions blending Indian food with British pub culture, creating a unique dining experience that pairs Indian-inspired dishes with classic pub drinks, revolutionizing the way Indian cuisine is experienced in the UK.

 

Aaron

Aaron
Aaron. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

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Aaron, a 37-year-old Business Manager from Erith, South East London, infuses his cooking with a vibrant fusion of Asian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Indian flavours, drawing inspiration from his aunty Georgi’s Caribbean pop-up restaurants. His passion for cooking began early, assisting his mum in the kitchen, which laid the foundation for his diverse culinary interests.

Encouraged by his wife Hannah, Aaron entered MasterChef to share his culinary talents and dreams of opening a small restaurant to showcase his favorite dishes, offering a unique dining experience inspired by his travels and tastes.

 

Chaz

Chaz
Chaz. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

Chaz, a 39-year-old photo retoucher and studio team leader from Hinckley, Leicestershire, loves to explore massive flavours and create unique dish combinations. His cooking reflects a global palate, aiming to bring the world into his kitchen.

Remembering his dad’s catering fridge as his earliest cooking playground, Chaz has long been inspired by the creativity and variety cooking offers. Driven by a desire to challenge himself and explore his culinary potential, Chaz aspires to share his passion for food through cookbooks, selling products, or possibly launching a food truck, creating amazing food with loved ones.

 

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Haddy

Haddy
Haddy. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

Haddy, born and raised in The Gambia and now living in Bournemouth, cherishes the traditional Gambian dishes that connect her to her heritage and memories of her grandmother. Her culinary journey adapted to new possibilities in England, incorporating British recipes and online findings into her repertoire, always with an added kick of spice.

Motivated by her husband’s encouragement, Haddy sees MasterChef as a platform to showcase Gambian cuisine and to ensure her daughters appreciate their rich cultural background. Her food dream includes writing a cookbook and possibly hosting a television show to spotlight Gambian street food.

 

Mathu

Mathu
Mathu. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

Mathu, a 32-year-old with roots in Sri Lanka and Canada, combines the rich flavours of Sri Lankan ingredients with North American classics, creating a unique culinary blend. Her earliest memories involve cooking with her grandmother in Sri Lanka, which inspired her passion for food. MasterChef Canada was her introduction to the series, which has influenced her cooking and integration into the UK. Entering MasterChef to share her love for cooking, Mathu dreams of hosting ‘The Elephant in the Room Dinners’, pop-up events designed to foster dialogue and unity through delicious food.

 

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Penny

Penny
Penny. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

Penny, a 70-year-old retired new business manager from Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, draws on English, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines, influenced by her family’s farming background and her French mother-in-law’s Tunisian experiences.

With a history of creating meals for over 50 years, Penny entered MasterChef to challenge herself and explore beyond her comfort zone, inspired by past MasterChef winners. Her food dream is to perfect a cheese soufflé as exquisite as those from Le Gavroche, reflecting her admiration for Michel Roux Jr.’s culinary artistry.

 

Steve

Steve
Steve. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 4

Steve, a 43-year-old IT Relationship Manager from Stoke-on-Trent, enjoys experimenting with fine dining desserts, British classics, and Asian flavours, drawing inspiration from chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Tom Kerridge. His earliest cooking memories involve festive baking with family, which has since evolved into a passion for creating diverse and inventive dishes.

Entering MasterChef on the encouragement of friends and family, Steve aims to gain John and Gregg’s approval and to challenge himself despite his Cerebral Palsy. His food dream encompasses leading a Michelin-starred restaurant, writing a cookbook, and possibly opening his own establishment, proving that passion can transcend any obstacle.

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Abi

Abi
Abi. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

Abi, a 21-year-old from Leeds, works in sales at her family’s business. Growing up in Harrogate, her experiences dining out greatly influenced her cooking style, particularly her love for Japanese and Asian cuisines. Inspired by family dinners and travel, Abi began recreating dishes she enjoyed in restaurants, particularly during 2020.

Her mother, a significant influence and supporter, encouraged her to apply to MasterChef. Abi views this opportunity as a way to challenge herself and explore her culinary passions, hoping to eventually embark on a career that allows her to share her love of food with others.

 

Ben

Ben
Ben. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

Ben, a 30-year-old from Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester, brings a French-inspired, self-taught cooking style to the table, contrasting with his childhood of microwave meals. His culinary inspirations include high-end dining experiences at places like Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Ben’s earliest cooking memories involve making Victoria sponge cakes with his mum, a simple joy from his childhood.

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Entering MasterChef to challenge himself and step out of his daily routine, Ben dreams of opening a country pub with his partner, embracing their shared passion for cooking and hospitality.

 

Khinley

Khinley
Khinley. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

Khinley, a 19-year-old student from St Andrews, Scotland, describes his cooking as dynamic and creative, reflecting his multicultural upbringing across various countries due to his father’s diplomatic work. His cooking philosophy, influenced by his mother’s fusion of local ingredients with Korean dishes, drives his passion.

Khinley’s participation in MasterChef is fueled by his desire to challenge traditional cooking methods and showcase his inventive culinary skills. His food dream is to explore global cuisines, review restaurants worldwide, and inspire others through a food and travel website, blending his love for diverse flavors and cultures.

 

Max

Max
Max. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

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Max, a 38-year-old Civil Servant from Manchester, originally from Nairobi, Kenya, incorporates the flavors of his Indian and Kenyan heritage into his cooking, which he describes as forgetful yet experimental. Inspired by his mother’s entrepreneurial spirit in utilizing her culinary skills, Max entered MasterChef to honor her memory and showcase the dishes that shaped his upbringing.

His food dream includes opening a Halal fine dining restaurant that fuses Indian and East African cuisines, and potentially writing a cookbook to share his unique recipes and culinary adventures.

 

Tatjana

Tatjana
Tatjana. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

Tatjana, a 30-year-old archaeologist from Sunderland, mixes French and Italian influences with adaptable techniques she’s honed while cooking on the road. Her style is pragmatic yet imaginative, often working with what’s available and making the best out of limited resources.

Motivated by her mother’s encouragement and her milestone birthday, Tatjana entered MasterChef to validate her culinary skills and take on a new challenge. Her dream is to either run a deli-style cafe or operate a food truck, offering recipes ideal for those who travel or work away from home, merging her lifestyle and culinary passions.

 

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Yogita

Yogita
Yogita. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 5

Yogita, a 50-year-old Strategy Manager from Purley, originally from Hyderabad, India, celebrates the rustic and spicy flavours of Indian cuisine, enhanced by her global travels and upbringing. Cooking instinctually like her mother, Yogita uses fresh ingredients to bring out authentic tastes in her dishes.

With encouragement from her family, she entered MasterChef to celebrate her 50th birthday with a new adventure, aiming to showcase the diversity of vegetarian Indian cuisines. Her food dream is to expand the UK’s exposure to Southern Indian vegetarian dishes, potentially through culinary classes, a cookbook, or a restaurant.

 

Conor

Conor
Conor. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

Conor, a 28-year-old Railway Engineer from Birmingham, brings a rich tapestry of cultural influences into his cooking, inspired by his hometown’s diversity. From Caribbean street parties to Eid feasts, Conor’s culinary style is about creating dishes that make people smile and crave more. His approach is to use fresh, quality ingredients, sourced from local butchers, to enhance the simple foods he loves.

Driven by a dream long held and encouraged by his sister, Conor entered MasterChef to challenge himself and share his passion for cooking. His food dream is to open a vibrant establishment where food celebrates community and togetherness.

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Dinta

Dinta
Dinta. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

Dinta, a 35-year-old GP from Leicester, combines her Indian heritage with global culinary influences to create unique fusion dishes. Her cooking style is heavily inspired by family traditions and the rich, diverse flavours of Indian cuisine. Dinta’s earliest cooking memories are of learning from her mother, rolling out puris and absorbing generational recipes.

Motivated by a desire to showcase her culinary talents and inspire others, Dinta joined MasterChef to refine her skills and learn from the experts. She dreams of intertwining her medical knowledge with her culinary skills to promote healthy, flavourful cooking through cookbooks or a TV show.

 

Lora

Lora
Lora. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

Lora, a 31-year-old former dancer and current hairdresser from Cambridgeshire, draws heavily on her travels and experiences abroad, particularly in Brazil and Italy. Diagnosed with type one diabetes at a young age, Lora’s relationship with food transformed positively through cultural exploration.

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Her style is eclectic, focusing on Italian and Japanese cuisines, with a special love for making fresh pasta. Lora entered MasterChef to challenge herself and achieve a bucket list moment of impressing Gregg Wallace with her desserts. Her food dream is a culinary journey through Japan, exploring and cooking regional dishes.

 

Lulu

Lulu
Lulu. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

Lulu, a 45-year-old Teaching Assistant from Hove, originally from Tanzania, cooks East African fusion cuisine with influences from Swahili, Arab, and Indian traditions. Inspired by the strong women in her family, Lulu’s cooking is a celebration of her multicultural background and her travels.

Her earliest cooking memories are of making fish dishes with her grandmother in Tanga. Lulu sees MasterChef as an opportunity to showcase East African cuisine, learn from feedback, and challenge herself. She dreams of opening a pop-up kitchen or writing a cookbook to share her culinary passion and heritage.

 

Rawdon

Rawdon
Rawdon. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

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Rawdon, a 66-year-old architect and part-time fitness instructor from Blackheath, London, enjoys an eclectic cooking style influenced by the global cuisines available in his city. With a strong memory of cooking with his father in their family pub, Rawdon appreciates the simplicity and health benefits of homemade cooking.

He has been a lifelong fan of cooking shows, which inspired him to showcase his own skills on MasterChef. Rawdon’s food dream is to travel the world, tasting and writing about diverse cuisines, reflecting his adventurous and open culinary perspective.

 

Tom

Tom
Tom. Credit: BBC/Shine TV

Heat 6

Tom, a 42-year-old Sales Manager from Carlisle, Scotland, cherishes home-cooked British food that brings the family together. Inspired by chefs like Tom Kitchin and James Martin, Tom loves to involve his children in the kitchen, creating meals that are both nourishing and a source of joy for the family.

Motivated by years of watching MasterChef with his family, Tom applied to the show to turn his culinary passion into a potential career, dreaming of running private dining experiences or supper clubs in Cumbria and Scotland, blending his love for local produce with his family-oriented life.

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The 20th series of MasterChef airs weekly on BBC One.

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