Who is Giorgio Locatelli? Celebrity MasterChef finalists learn from Italian icon

Who is Giorgio Locatelli? Celebrity MasterChef finalists learn from Italian icon

The Celebrity MasterChef finals are almost upon us and one of the last challenges to sort the best of the best celeb cooks is the Chef’s Table, this year overseen by Italian culinary legend Giorgio Locatelli.

The Chef’s Table challenge is one of the most crucial parts of the competition, where the finalists bring all the skills they’ve acquired to the table to impress some of the best in the industry. This year sees the celebs having to impress four pioneers of Italian cuisine in the UK: Francesco Mazzei, Jacob Kenedy, Theo Randall, and Masha Rener.

To help them on their journey to Italian culinary expertise, the final trio are put to the task of cooking under Giorgio Locatelli’s guidance. Let’s take a look at Giorgio’s career as the Celebrity MasterChef final rolls around.

Photo by Stefania M. D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Who is Giorgio Locatelli?

Giorgio Locatelli, 59, is an Italian chef based in the UK. He was born on April 6, 1963 in Corgeno, a commune in the region of Lombardy, Italy.

In the mid-1980s, Giorgio got his start working in England in the kitchens of Anton Edelmann at The Savoy. The following years would see Giorgio move between Paris and Italy before moving to the UK for good in the 1990s.

In 1995, Giorgio Locatelli would open his first restaurant, Zafferano, which would rocket him to success. Two years later, Giorgio opened Spighetta on Blandford Street, followed by its sister restaurant Spiga, Wardour Street, in March 1999.

But it was in 2002 that Giorgio Locatelli’s big break came. That year saw Giorgio and his wife Plaxy open their first independent restaurant – the other three had been under the helm of restauranteurs – Locanda Locatelli. This is the restaurant featured in the finals of Celebrity MasterChef 2022.

Giorgio earned his first Michelin star back in 1999

Giorgio Locatelli has earned a wealth of accolades and awards throughout his five-decade career. He claimed his first-ever Michelin star back in 1999, which was awarded to Zafferano.

Locanda Locatelli would be awarded a Michelin star in 2003 which it has retained in the years since.

As Locanda Locatelli and the chef behind the restaurant are described in the Michelin guide: “A few minutes in the company of Giorgio Locatelli, whether face to face or through the medium of television, reveals a man who is passionate about Italian food – and it is that very passion which has kept Locanda Locatelli at the top for so long. The restaurant may be into its third decade but still looks as dapper as ever and remains in the premier league of London’s most fashionable addresses.”

They celebrated their 20th Michelin star earlier this year, in August.

The Celebrity MasterChef champion will be crowned this week

There are just four celebrities remaining in the competition and as of yet, it’s unclear who will take home the win. Competing in the final is TV presenter Lisa Snowdon, EastEnders and Call The Midwife star Cliff Parisi, McFly’s Danny Jones and All Saints star Melanie Blatt.

The first part of the final airs on Tuesday, September 20 on BBC One with the second part airing two days later on Thursday, September 22.

The final episode will air from 8:30-9pm on Thursday night, where we will finally see which celeb takes home the ultimate title of MasterChef Champion.

All episodes so far are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Screenshot: Celebrity MasterChef S17 E16 on BBC iPlayer

WATCH THE CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF FINAL THURSDAY, SEPT 22 ON BBC ONE

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