MasterChef is back for its 17th season, complete with a whole new line-up of amateur chefs. Let’s get to know those lining up for the crown…
Hoping to become the 2021 champion, 40 new chefs are showcasing their culinary skills to impress judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode.
They will each compete in heats comprising of five members, with some being selected to be put through to the semi-finals.
Here’s the contestant line-up for MasterChef 2021 – keep scrolling to meet Ross, Ping, Madeeha and others starring in this year’s competition.
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- Tom – Semi-finalist
- Madeeha – Semi-finalist
Tom Rhodes, from Newcastle Upon Tyne, mostly cooks, but occasionally gets his bake on via the #bakingwithbakeoff hashtag.
He impressed the judges with his “bold, daring and interesting” dishes and got through the quarter-finals.
Moreover, he became the first semi-finalist of the 2021 series!
Mike Bartley, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK, joins the line-up.
He works in food creations and experiences, as well as foraging.
The 34-year-old has a fiancee and two boys, and is currently working as a retail store manager – with dreams to cook for his career.
Mike is a busy man, as he is also currently in his fifth year of a six year part-time law degree through The Open University.
Madeeha Qureshi has made history as the contestant to make the biggest servings ever seen on the show.
She says she is a “cook by nature, lover of spice and all things nice”.
Madeeha wowed in the first round and went through the quarter finals!
In episode 3 of MasterChef, the ambitious chef earned her place at the semi-finals!
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Stephanie Teraned Simmons is a fashion designer for Gresham Blake.
Based in Brighton and Hove, she spends her spare time as a food blogger.
She also does monthly restaurant reviews on her website!
Mum-of-two Laura isn’t just a budding chef, but a saxophone player, too!
She had to juggle home-schooling while appearing on MasterChef.
Laura Michael (Macdonald) enjoys both baking and cooking in the kitchen.
She also managed to go through the quarter-finals and has made it to the semi-finals of MasterChef 2021.
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- Stefan – Semi-finalist
Stefan is an architectural designer from Southeast London.
He is the founding director of Stefan Shaw Studio, who has over 10 years experience working on local and international projects.
Just one project amongst several includes the restoration and second life of Park Hill in Sheffield, the largest listed building in Europe and Runner up of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2016.
Looking at his Facebook, he is with a young boy in his profile picture, and smiling at a woman in his cover picture. So, it looks like he’s a family man!
Katy, from Glasgow, Scotland, says she is “hungry all the time”.
She is also a “flexitarian” who enjoys home cooking, recipe making and giving food reviews.
In MasterChef’s episode 4, Katy and Stefan earned places at the quarter-finals.
- Mike T – Semi-finalist
Mike Tomkins, from Guildford, Surrey, usually enjoys making traditional Italian food – but “likes to experiment with some modern twists”.
He is in a relationship with a woman named Megan McIntosh, who has been supporting him during his MasterChef journey.
The 27-year-old’s passion for cooking was reportedly passed down to him from his grandmother, who lives near Naples.
Mike, who is a senior sales executive, said his earliest memories are being in the kitchen with his mother, as reported by Get Surrey.
Janine cooks comfort Middle Eastern food “that speaks to your heart”.
Originally from Lebanese, she runs a YouTube channel showing how to make her recipes – which has at least 1.5K subscribers!
She swims, stretches and works out in her free time, and has rowed competitively before.
- Claire – Semi-finalist
- Letitia – Semi-finalist
Claire Bruce, from Rye, East Sussex, works in politics.
She has worked for the government since June 2020, and spends her spare time baking and cooking up original recipes.
Describing herself as a “coast hugger” and “cabin lover”, she is mum to a poodle dog called Riley.
The MasterChef semi-finalist previously went to Thomas Peacocke Community College in Rye.
Zana Chetty, from Durban, Scotland, is a fusion chef from South Africa.
Looking at Instagram, he appears to be happily married.
It also looks like he has a young daughter who enjoys his food, and who he hangs out with when he’s not busy cooking!
Sofia is a tutor, recipe developer and food stylist.
The food writer and blogger runs cooking classes as part of her own school!
She hopes to write all about her passion for food in a book one day.
Letitia Tish is a mum who enjoys cooking regularly.
She can make king prawn linguine, lemon curd cupcakes, and apple pie, to name just a few of her cooking skills.
The contestant said she is “extremely happy and so proud to fulfil one of my life long dreams” by going on MasterChef.
- Alexina – Semi-finalist
- Mike R
Alexina works as a Head of Frozen at Mindful Chef, her LinkedIn bio says.
She has a BA degree in English from the University of Cambridge.
The MasterChef star is on Instagram under the handle @alexinaanatole where you will find plenty of inspirational and delicious meals.
- Jacqui – Semi-finalist
Jacqui Pickles, from Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, is inspired by Canadian poutine, as seen during her appearance on MasterChef.
She is a wife, as well as a grandmother to two Canadian children.
The MasterChef semi-finalist is the deputy chief operating officer at UHMBT (University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust).
- Marc – Semi-finalist
- Ross G
Marc Morris Mok is a 3D fashion designer from London.
He makes his own handmade luxury French madeleines bakery, which can be bought through a subscription at @la_petite_marcdeleine.
His designs have been showcased on models at fashion runways, including Marc Morris Mok Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
Marc is also a freelance pattern cutter for Victor x Wang, and a guest lecturer at London College of Fashion.
Ross Gregor, from Edinburgh, Scotland, joins the line-up of contestants.
He bashes lobsters, makes giant mac and cheese, and even the odd dessert such as raspberry ripple gelato and oreo brownies.
Ross has also had cooking lessons in Marrakech!
WATCH MASTERCHEF ON BBC ONE EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY AT 9 PM