MasterChef The Professionals: Meet 2020's semi-finalists!

As MasterChef: The Professionals gets well underway, we can start to reveal who makes it through to the line-up of 2020’s semi finalists.

The BBC cooking series sees over 30 skilled chefs try to cook their way to the trophy, with 16 contestants left to battle it out in the final week.

They are put through a heat round before finding out if they make it through to the quarter-finals, and then the semi-finals.

So who made it to the semi-finals 2020? Meet the chefs who got through!

Masterchef: The Professionals S13 – The Chefs Generics (No. The Chefs Generics) – Picture Shows: Dave – (C) Shine TV – Photographer: Production. Picture: BBC

Dave

David Wells, from Oxfordshire, is head chef at gastro pub The Fat Frog restaurant in The Chequers, based in Didcot, which he formerly owned.

Looking at his Instagram, the 39-year-old is a father to 3 daughters and 1 son, and has a dog called Winston.

 

He has been a chef for 24 years, with his passion for food starting when he was just 16 years old.

It came after he was kicked out of school and went on to wash up at a local restaurant, where he enjoyed “the buzz”.

Now, he is impressing judges on MasterChef, and some viewers have even put their bets on him to win!

Philli

Philli practised for Masterchef: The Professionals by buying a one-way plane ticket to Japan, where she spent a year travelling from Japan to Indonesia.

While she was there, she worked in restaurants, visited Kobe beef farms, and ate mochi, among other activities.

During the first heat of the series, Philli impressed the judges with her travel-inspired dishes!

It all started at the age of 22, when she joined Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and became passionate about Asian food.

Philli, who is now 28, works in consultancy with Nutshell Food and runs cooking masterclasses for skilled chefs at her business Chef Tribe.

Victor

Victor Okunowo is a 25-year-old head chef at pan-African-style restaurant Talking Drum London and offers private dining bookings.

He spends most of his time in London, and occasionally does Victor’s Tapas Tasting videos on his Instagram.

He won over judge Marcus Wareing with “beautifully cooked” lamb, while Gregg Wallace said he was eating his skills test dish, rather than tasting it!

Speaking on the show, he said:

You give someone an emotion through food. I feel like our job as a chef is to provide joy for people on a plate. And that’s literally our reward.

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Santosh

Santosh Shah calls himself a Nepalese chef on Instagram. He is the head chef at Indian restaurant Cinnamon Collection.

The 34-year-old is also the executive chef of Saffron Circle UK. He was originally born and raised in a village in Nepal called Karjanha, Siraha.

As the youngest of 7 siblings – who was inspired by his chef brother – Santosh moved from Nepal to India at 15 years old, to work as a commis in a five-star restaurant for 10 years.

He then relocated from Gujarat to London 10 years ago – one of his first jobs was at Brasserie Blanc. Santosh has now been a chef for 20 years.

Alex

Alexander Henry Webb, 25, is head chef at Square 1 restaurant, in Dunmow, Essex. The contestant says he has been a chef since he was 14 years old.

He started out working as a pot wash at the same restaurant that he currently works at, before going off to learn from different restaurants, and returning to showcase his skills.

He has already announced that he will be working on Christmas Day, making festive dinners for customers!

Alexander, who calls himself Chef Webb, also has a cockapoo called Truffle.

Jono

Jono Hawthorne, 31, is the head chef at Vice and Virtue, a modern British restaurant and cocktail bar in Leeds.

The contestant, who is a father to son Ted, has worked in the kitchens of NOMA, The Man Behind The Curtain and The Box Tree.

More recently, he seems to keep occupied by preparing takeaway food for Leeds residents, while restaurants are closed.

The restaurant focuses on local produce and foraged, fresh ingredients.

Aaron

Aaron, 27, runs his own pop-ups, and works at a sous chef at a two-Rosette Indian restaurant in Buckinghamshire.

The contestant, from Amersham, said they were closed for 2 months when lockdown measures took place, but have since opened for takeaway.

He added that MasterChef: The Professionals is the biggest thing he has done in his career to date.

Luke

Luke Rhodes, 26, had his first child earlier this year, and had a home renovation, so it’s been a pretty busy time for the MasterChef contestant.

He has a baby girl Dolly Freo with his wife and qualified pastry chef Jessica, who he lives with in Sheffield.

Luke is a sous chef at Halifax Hall hotel in Sheffield, and has his own meat business called Luke Rhodes Smokehouse BBQ.

He said that he has “always wanted to be a chef from day one”.

WATCH MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS ON TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND THURSDAYS ON BBC ONE AT 9 PM

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