Chef and restaurant owner Monica Galetti is known for judging contestants on MasterChef: The Professionals. However, when the new 2022 started on BBC, viewers started asking where she is and why she left.

Instead of Monica’s usual presence as a judge, new star and acclaimed chef Anna Haugh has filled her place. In April, Monica made the announcement to step back from The Professionals, and seven months on, MasterChef has returned.

Longtime viewers of the cooking competition know Monica has been a co-host and judge since the second series, airing in 2009, when she was signed up as the sous-chef of then-judge Michel Roux Jr.

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Where is Monica from MasterChef: The Professionals?

Monica is often at her restaurant Mere, based in London. She is also spending more time with her family while she is away from filming, and could not commit to filming another The Professionals series alongside her commitments.

She is also a star on Amazing Hotels, and revealed just two weeks ago that her travel buddy will be Judge Rinder (Rob Rinder) for season 5. Just a day before MasterChef launched its new series, Monica was on holiday in Scotland.

The chef stuck to her word when she said her “restaurant needs her” as she promoted her employee Yuri Scarcia to head chef at Mere. And family is also a top priority, as she celebrated her daughter’s 16th birthday on October 24th.

Is Monica leaving MasterChef?

Monica has only revealed that she has “stepped back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals.” Therefore, she has not completely left the show, but will not be appearing on the 2022 series at least, and told BBC:

It is with a heavy heart that I’ve made this decision to step back from filming this year’s series of MasterChef: The Professionals. My family need me, my restaurant needs me and trying to balance long filming days over the next three months with all these commitments meant that something had to give.

She continued: “So, for the moment, my focus has to be 100% about my loved ones and rebuilding my kitchen team who have had a battering over the last few months especially.

“Those in the hospitality industry know just how tough it is at the moment. To my MasterChef family, crew and friends, I’m so sorry that I won’t be with you this year but I hope to be back soon.”

Get to know Anna Haugh

Anna is an acclaimed chef born in Dublin. She trained at TU Dublin School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology and before joining during Monica’s break, was a guest chef on Celebrity MasterChef during series 17 episode 11.

She began her career in the city, with Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain. Anna then moved to London where she worked with Philip Howard, Shane Osborn and Gordon Ramsay. She also worked with Gualtiero Marchesi in Paris.

The 41-year-old founded the Myrtle Restaurant in Chelsea, London, in May 2019, named after chef Myrtle Allen. Her first role in television was in BBC’s The Stress Test in 2004 while working at Pied à Terre with Shane Osborn.

WATCH MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS ON BBC ONE WEDNESDAY TO FRIDAY AT 9 PM

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